Picture this: I’m 30 years old, a farm boy from Montana. Eighteen months before, I’d quit working for someone else and launched my own industrial engineering company, Berenyi Incorporated. I believed that there was a need in the engineering industry for leaders who really cared about what they were doing, who wanted to raise the bar of excellence and whose word really meant something to them. So I started my engineering company on those leadership principles. And it worked. I had people working for me, trusting me, we had some nice projects and great clients such as Exxon— and then, unexpectedly, I was sent to war.
The first hard thing was having to tell all my customers that I wouldn’t be able to complete the commitments I had made to them. I had to close our office and I couldn’t say when I’d be back. Breaking my word on those commitments was very difficult for me. I’m a “my word is my bond” guy.