Question: Business owners and executives are often given advice — solicited and unsolicited. What is the best advice ever given to you in business and how have you applied it?
David J. Jacofsky, M.D.
Chairman and CEO
The CORE Institute
My father once told me not to focus on developing products, nor business plans, but rather on developing people. At the time, I did not recognize how powerful a recommendation that was, but have since learned that the limits of one’s organization are defined only by the limits of its people. As such, The CORE Institute has created a host of means by which we build and develop talent.
Whether you look at The CORE Institute University, our Organizational Development Department, our in-house personal executive coaching or our IT-based learning management system, our leadership and I value nothing over our people. Through the acquisition, retention and development of our people, we not only help them reach their individual professional goals but we create a dynamic environment of constant growth and improvement that fosters a culture of excellence.
The best investment our organization ever makes is the investment we make in each other.
David J. Jacofsky, M.D., serves as the chairman and chief executive officer of The CORE Institute, an organization he co-founded in 2005. Today, it is Arizona’s largest orthopedic and neurology organization, with additional clinics in Michigan and Louisiana. A respected authority in complex adult joint reconstruction, total joint replacement, traumatology and oncology, he continues to treat patients in addition to his corporate responsibilities.
Co-founder & Co-owner
When I was a child, my father often talked about his grandfather. It was the story of an orphan harbored by his uncles, and helping as a young apprentice in the field of warehousing food commodities and trade. Against all odds, he grew up to be one of the most successful businessmen in his city, and came from very modest beginnings in a small shop at a very tender age. The reason he succeeded — my father often related — was his honesty. People trusted him, for he always provided the best product at the lowest price possible while remaining viable, business-wise. The market at large recognized that and he was rewarded for it.
This notion of providing the best quality at a value — which was indirectly engrained in me, and was inadvertently a part of my upbringing — has got to be the best advice I think one could ever get. Everything else after that is just hard work and smarts.
Bassel Osmani, Pita Jungle co-founder and co-owner, was born in France and raised in Lebanon. He and his partners founded Pita Jungle in 1994 on the principle of serving the best quality food at a reasonable price, with exceptional customer service. Osmani remains a hands-on leader of Pita Jungle, which stands as a $42-million concept with 17 locations in Arizona and two in California.
Principal and Co-founder
Stoney-Wilson Business Consulting, LLC
Sector: Business Consulting
One of the most important pieces of advice received early in my career is to know the numbers. In my own business, I’ve learned that delegating financial responsibility to a bookkeeper, accountant, CPA or grandmother is fine, but abdicating that responsibility is completely different. As a business owner, I need to know the numbers affecting my business in order to proactively deal with changes in the marketplace, staffing decisions and shifts in the economy. It is my top priority to understand the numbers and what they mean, and adjust accordingly. This knowledge enables me to make wise business choices, avoid financial pitfalls, and foresee future opportunities and threats.
I believe so strongly in this fundamental principle, I created Stoney-Wilson Business Consulting. Every day, I’m able to assist other business owners achieve their financial acumen goals. I’ve learned that no one knows it all, but a team working together can do amazing things. I’ve surrounded myself with solid people resources: employees, bankers, insurance agents, accountants, attorneys and, yes, business consultants. I develop and use those people resources.
A 35-year banking veteran, Robert Wilson formed Stoney-Wilson with partner Julie Stoney seven years ago to cater to small to medium-sized businesses in meeting their financial and general business needs. SWBC also provides consulting services to the banking industry with an emphasis on training bankers. In addition to having helped its clients meet significant successes, the firm has conducted “Access to Capital” academies for the City of Phoenix.