The crazy thing is that I actually looked forward to seeing Howard Klein at Nordstrom’s again; meeting him made me want to return to the store, even though I hate to shop. The experience caused me to think about a possible strategy for hiring key associates. As I reflected on the subject, a manufacturing company with which I have worked came to mind. One day I met the sales manager, who used to own his own business. He was obviously excited about his new company and was glad to be there, and he told me, “I would do anything for Duane (the owner/CEO).” In a nutshell: If you want to have associates who really care about the business and act like owners, hire them. However, when you do it, you need to be sure to treat them like owners. Are you aware of a small competitor or a vendor whose owner would be a natural fit with your team? Think about it.