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Love Attributes Success to Employees

Article excerpt

"Believe me, if everything depended upon my skill, you wouldn't be here talking to me today."

_ Tom Love Success of Love's Country Stores Inc. is not due to Tom Love.

It's the employees and managers who made it a success, he said.

"Believe me, if everything depended upon my skill, you wouldn't be here talking to me today," he said.

Love, chairman and chief executive of Love's Country Stores Inc. and Musket Oil Inc., has spent 31 years building the company from a single discount filling station in 1964 to a string of 130 convenience stores and travel stops in six states.

"This is not false modesty on my part," he said. "The greatest thing we have is that we were lucky enough to get some good employees with an entrepreneurial spirit who would work hard to implement some of the things we want to do.

"I'm not a micromanager, I'm not truly a hands-on type of manager. I give the four officers of this company the authority to work and we work together.

"I try to stay away from the dayto-day operations. I'm not good at it. Even when it was just me, I didn't understand it and didn't really like it, even though it had to be done."

Now, his company has more than 2,000 employees in six states, with a lean management team that is aggressively seeking new ideas and ways to market the company's products.

Even though he's headed the company since its inception in 1964, Love is quick to point out that "our great people don't receive nearly the amount of reward and recognition they deserve. …