Basically, I like to do things that make my life easier. So I hire better people. I pay them more money. I trust them. That way, if I want to leave work at 2 P.M. I can. Years ago, I worked for the Department of Labor, where a lot of folks were just slogging through their work. But when I got to know them, I found out they had these amazing talents: One guy had a great DJ business, and one of the data-entry clerks had won blue ribbons at the state fair for her quilts. All their creativity was kicked out of them because the government discouraged leadership. I know every time I tried something new, I got spanked. At Rutabaga, I try to create an environment where people aren't afraid to fail. You have to put the reins on people sometimes, but it's better to rein in a horse that loves to run than have to use the spurs all the time.
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