We both had the privilege and honor to have been mentored by the late Jim Rozier.
His lessons for us reflected many of his wonderful personality traits. They were unorthodox and humorous, folksy and spoken in parables, but also tremendously insightful and pragmatic.
His upbringing from a country crossroads in Berkeley County gave him a perspective that enabled him to cut through the noise to achieve his end while leaving those with whom he did business with a smile and a good story. Jim was a public servant, leader, loyal friend, problem solver, optimist, wily competitor, teacher and giver, and a true family man.
We miss him already.
We both have advanced degrees in business and in law, but nothing compares to the education we got from Jim. We hope to pass along these pearls of wisdom.
1. Always answer your wife’s phone call, especially in the middle of a negotiation. If the other guy is more important than her, you’ve already lost.
2. Don’t be afraid of an argument but never hold a grudge; your opponent today will very likely be your ally tomorrow.
3. Ego and political leanings should never get in the way of a common sense solution, but you need to have a little of both before you can get to that point.
4. The goal of the first meeting is to laugh; either by sharing a good story and developing a friendship with a future partner or by making the other person so mad that you get a good chuckle out of it.
5. But the general end game should be clear by the second meeting; otherwise, don’t waste your time.
6. Be available. If you return phone calls within 24 hours, you’ll beat 90 percent of the competition; if you return them within the hour, you’ll beat 99 percent.
7. If somebody doesn’t like you, either they’ll eventually change their mind or they won’t, but it shouldn’t have a bearing on what you eat for dinner tonight.
8. Default to saying “yes” to a request, particularly if a stranger asks, at least until you can articulate a good reason to say “no.”
9. Income is more important than net assets, but you’ll need the latter to have the former.
10. If you don’t genuinely and wholeheartedly believe in yourself and what you’re doing, don’t expect other people to either.
J. Raleigh West III