Managers Who Lead With Their Hearts

This issue's lead story reports on an unusual action taken by the co-founders of spread-spectrum radio supplier FreeWave Technologiesto hand over $9 million in equity to the firm's employees in recognition of their contributions to the company's success. Especially in today's economy, where layoffs are more common than payouts, this is a dramatic gesture, but certainly one that goes a long way toward making FreeWave one of the more popular places to work.

In a country in which business managers have become obsessed with the bottom line, it is easy to forget that running a business need not be all that complicated. The US Marines teach soldiers to "look out for the group before you look out for yourself," and this team-oriented approach adopted by FreeWave not only helps build an effective workforce, but one that is motivated toward achieving success for the company, and one that understands the importance of the customer. In good times or bad, treating employees and customers as you would treat yourself is a formula that may not always make economic sense, but will usually lead to success.

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