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Rick Reid of Montana Dakota Utilities

Rick Reid talks with a business studentLong-time Business Advisory Board member and friend of the COB spoke to the Entrepreneurial Marketing course on March 1st. Mr. Reid recently retired from his position as regional manager for Montana Dakota Utilities. His 40 year career in the utility industry covered eight jobs in five different locations. Mr. Reid has a degree in marketing from Bismarck State College and is a veteran of the United States Marines having served in Viet Nam. He is has been married to his wife Keryl for 42 years and has three daughters and six grandchildren.

Mr. Reid made the following observations:

“Sometimes you have to reach out, don’t say ‘I want a job at this place,’ take a job somewhere new.”

“Good things happen to good people.”

“Never do anything that’s self-restraining.”

Working for a Large Company

  • Big companies provide a lot of opportunity
    • + Gets narrow at the top of the pyramid
    • -  Bureaucracy complicates and stifles creativity
    • + Benefits are good, usually better than small companies

“Keep good employees challenged or they’ll move on.”

“Unions complicate getting rid of the 10% of bad employees, don’t spend too much time on them or the other 90% will get frustrated.”

  • Get involved in the community
    • “Get more out of it than you give.”

Rick Reid talks with a business studentIndividual Advice

  • Start early and save religiously in an account, ex. 401K, etc.
    • Contribute enough to get the company’s match
    • Grow contribution when you can, DO NOT take ANY out
  • Work had, but have a balance
    • Spend time with family and on yourself
  • Business is NOT personal
  • 51% good, 49% bad
    • Get a good balance, attitude is BIG, make YOURSELF happy
  • Be humble, you’re only as good/bad as the best/worst employee
  • If you become a manager, grow the ability to hire good people
    • Look for smart people with good attitudes

Student Heid Leritz helped with this report.

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