Last month, BLR was involved in a merger that resulted in a new company with four business units being established. The combined company, Simplify Compliance, serves HR, safety, and environmental professionals as well as the healthcare, telecommunications, and financial services industries.
There’s an old story that goes like this: A man walks into a bar and asks the bartender for a glass of water. Instead, the bartender pulls out a shotgun and fires a shot, just missing the man. Satisfied, the man places a nice tip on the bar, turns, and walks out.
by Dan Oswald
I was extremely sad to learn today that Lee Smith, the founder of M. Lee Smith Publishers, passed away Tuesday night.
Lee was a true southern gentleman and a savvy businessman. Lee founded his company in 1975 and built an incredible business that successfully served hundreds of thousands of customers over the years. I had the privilege of knowing Lee as a colleague in our industry for many years before having the opportunity to relocate to Tennessee and purchase his company from him.
I’d like to share the story of how I came to own M. Lee Smith Publishers because it provides great insight into the man Lee was. In late 2002, Lee called me in an attempt to recruit me to run the company he had founded. I was flattered, but I informed him that I was really interested in acquiring a company. His response was, “Well, let’s talk about that.” So we did. Through a couple of conversations, I discovered that Lee was actually open to the idea of selling the company he had built.
Editor’s Note: Dan invited former Tennessee Employment Law Letter editor John Phillips to share his memories of business colleague and “lasting friend” Lee Smith.
by John Phillips
In March of 1986, I started The Tennessee Employment Law Update, a monthly newsletter. Some lawyers subscribed to the newsletter, but it was primarily designed for HR professionals.
It was a small operation: me and my wife. I was the writer. She ran everything else. Much to our delight (and surprise), the newsletter did pretty well.
The other day, in a conversation about the recent U.S. presidential election, I mentioned that one of the ways I evaluate politicians is to consider whether I’d be willing to either work for the person or have the candidate work for me. It’s pretty simple—I want to work with people I respect.
This contribution is the second in a two-part series from BLR Executive Vice President Elizabeth Petersen about business lessons learned through sports.
Thanksgiving is behind us, and the holidays are in full swing. Most of us feel busier than ever this time of year. With parties to attend, gifts to buy, and anticipated travel for the holidays, there certainly is a lot going on. How do we find time to get everything done and still do our jobs?
By way of introduction, my name is Elizabeth Petersen, and I’m the executive vice president of BLR’s healthcare division.
When I was in elementary school, it wasn’t unusual for my report card to come home with a note from the teacher at the bottom that read something like, “Danny is well-behaved, but he must learn not to talk so much in class.” I somehow escaped the “Danny” moniker by middle school, but that’s a story for another day. I remember, on more than one occasion, a teacher making me write “I will not talk in class” a hundred times for being disruptive in class. Obviously, I had a hard time keeping my mouth shut.
President Harry S. Truman famously had a plaque on his desk that read, “The buck stops here.” It was a reminder to himself that he couldn’t pass responsibility for the way the country was governed. Ultimately, he was responsible.