For every Ben Cohen (see story above), there's a Howard A. Tullman.
The sign on Tullman's wall says it all: "Work hard, stick together, improve every day and always ask the question: How badly do I want it?" "The leaders at CCC no longer even ask," says Tullman, founder and president of Certified Collateral Corp. (#31), in Chicago, in a memo to the company's 208 employees. "They know the answer because they live it all day long -- every single day: we want it very badly and we want it now."
These are words by which Tullman lives and works -- a distinction he barey acknowledges. "We focus our energies wholeheartedly on the job," he says in a manifesto meant to inspire the rank and file. "Anything that moves us away from our objectives is discarded." He does mean anything. Employees should ask themselves, "Can I make the personal investment and the necessary sacrifices of time, friends, and family? Can I accept the loneliness?"
Many can. Turnover is low at CCC, which provides auto-valuation data to insurers. According to Tullman, "People want rules. We don't have a lot of complex rules here, just two easy ones: Do it all, and get it right."
What of the families of employees? "They love the company," says Tullman. "Maybe people work longer hours at CCC, but when they do get home, they get home excited."