Leaders, successful entrepreneurs put people first

During the waning days of 2006, many of us will begin to reflect on the past as we make plans for our future. As I was preparing for my year-end column on entrepreneurship, I reviewed the topics that have generated the most reader feedback during the past seven years.

The columns I have written in this space have included many topics of interest and concern to entrepreneurs: organizational form; raising money; investor relations; sales; writing a business plan; partnering; financial management; working with legal, insurance and other professionals; among many others. But the columns that have consistently generated the most reader response are the columns about "people" — the company leader, the management team, advisers, directors and partners, especially with regard to their ethics and integrity.

As I researched these past articles (more than 15 of them), I found several concepts that seemed to capture the essence of many of the messages. As my parting thoughts for this year, let me share with you those quotes:

By Gary Williams
Associated Press

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