In Good Company [with Water Woman] My son is turning 10 and he has his heart set on a strawberry birthday cake with a race track decoration – nothing too crazy. So off we go to the local grocery store bakery. Bakery Babe: “I’m sorry, we only have chocolate and vanilla cakes.” Tired Mom: “Really?!?” Clueless Bakery Babe: “No one around here makes a strawberry cake.” Irritated Mom: “How about The Flour Shop-that specialty cupcake place down the street?” Helpful Baker: “Oh yes, they would. They are the best. You should get your cake from them.” Resigned Mom: “Thanks, we will.” Birthday Boy: “Well, that was unusual. Why is she giving her business to someone else?” Motivational Speaker Mom: “She doesn’t think of it as her business.” Happily, the cupcake place will oblige. Next stop: Target, to get other forgotten birthday stuff and whatever impulse items jump into my cart. Checkout Dude: “Is that La Croix water any good?” Still Tired Mom: “Yes, I love it. It is a great alternative to pop, and I love the lime.” Random Shopper at Next Checkout: “Did you know Perrier has lime bubble water in cans?” Confused Mom: “What? Who? What?” Let me cut to the chase. She dumps her cart and comes over to tell me she works for Perrier and wants me to try her water. She asks me to wait and sprints away, only to come back with 2 cases of Perrier and 1 case of San Pellegrino (also owned by Perrier). She swipes her corporate card and puts the water in my cart. She told me to ask for it at restaurants and left to go pay for her items. I turned to my son, “Now that is owning your business…and it is her day off!” Lots to Ponder What kind of employee are you? Clueless Bakery Babe or Water Woman (my hero!)? Which one would you want working for you? Who do you want to do business with? What do you do with a 10-year-old who gets it — better than many employees? Empower your people. Get Empowered. And, keep good company.