Back To Basics

Separation Anxiety

While the boss is off living the good life in the Alaskan wilderness or Colorado countryside, what do the employees think of it all? We asked the workers at Sue Scott's Primal Lite Inc. for their honest opinions. Here's what they told us:

  • On their fears: "In the beginning, I had a lot of worries," recalls Claudine Huey-Bolton, Primal Lite's operations manager. "How would we work together? Would I still have a job? Where would I go?"

"I lost my breath when Sue told us she was moving," says Sally Cervetto, who works in Primal Lite's in-house sales department. "It felt a little lonely knowing I wasn't going to see her regularly. I had a lot of questions and concerns about how we'd function on a daily basis."

  • On the working environment: "You have to make a major adjustment," Huey-Bolton says. "You and your boss have to be in synch in working style and priorities. It takes strong individuals to do this."

"Our conversations are different because now we're dealing by phone," Cervetto explains. "We have to be much more direct and zero in on the situation at hand."

  • On trust: "If you don't have a tremendous amount of trust, you won't survive this style of business," Huey-Bolton says. "For owners to trust their [managers] to handle the business in their physical absence, it's truly the highest form of flattery."

Contact Source

Primal Lite, (510) 234-1000, fax: (510) 234-1004

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This article was originally published in the July 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Back To Basics.

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