Daniel Tardy: License To Sell

Give like no one else

Posted in Business by elephanthunters on December 15, 2009

Dave Ramsey pulls out all the stops!

Last week was a good week to work for Dave Ramsey.  Don’t get me wrong, they’re all pretty dang good, but this week ushered in a spirit of giving and Christmas joy like I’ve never seen in 6 years of working here.

Most business owners wouldn’t dream of approving this ‘expense’:

  • On Monday morning, Santa Claus hijacked our staff meeting and brought an entire catering crew with him.  We had a fabulous breakfast of carved ham, egg soufflés, fresh fruits, muffins and a whole spread of tasty breakfast treats
  • Santa left a present under the Christmas tree for each team member (~300 and growing).  Each of us received a nice ornament and gift certificate to our selection of a few local restaurants or A Moment’s Peace day spa
  • Dave rented out a local theater, shut the company down a little early on Monday, and took the whole team and their spouses to see Blind Side. (Great movie.  True story. Inspirational. Go see it.)
  • Tuesday was just nuts.  To say our group is competitive would be a major understatement.  So when Dave announced there would be a prize for the department whose area best represented the Christmas spirit, it was ‘katie-bar-the-door’!  The entire placed looks like Santa’s village and the decorating festivities went completely over the top
  • We had a great devotion Wednesday morning lead by Mercy Ministries founder, Nancy Alcorn, and yet another breakfast feast was to follow
  • While we ate breakfast, our Director of HR, Rick Perry, gave everyone a Camelbak water bottle stuffed with gift certificates to Dick’s Sporting Goods, Fleet Feet, and movie tickets
  • On Friday, Dave catered in lunch for everyone and had a local high school choir serenade us with Christmas carols while we ate
  • Dave shut the company down early Friday afternoon and sent everyone home with a spiral cut Honey Baked Ham.  Mmmm.
  • Saturday morning Dave rented out a movie theater AGAIN for everyone to take their kids to see The Princess and the Frog
  • The week culminated on Saturday evening with our company Christmas party, and it was full of surprises, gifts, entertainment, cash, and stories that will be told all year long.  My favorite part?  Dave announced that he’s now paying for our gym memberships!

Wow!  What an awesome week and an incredible place to work.  In the midst of all of the internal giving Dave has also been giving back to our customers through our ’24 Days of Giving’ initiative.  We’re half way through it and we’ve already given away thousands of dollars, iPod touches, Amazon Kindles, and so much more!

When in doubt: Give.

Dave Ramsey is one of the most generous people I know.  I know him well enough to confidently assure anyone that his giving is sincere and is from his heart.  The added benefit to being generous to your team and your customers, though, is that they learn to trust your intent.  When your team sees that your intention is to bless others it makes them want to work with more focus and energy.  It’s easy to rally around a cause that benefits more people than just the guy at the top.  Buying from a generous organization feels better than from a corporate empire that doesn’t have a soul.

Is your company generous?

Giving doesn’t have to cost you a lot, but it needs to be intentional.  Even if you don’t have ‘Ramsey type resources’ you can still dramatically energize your team by blessing them with your time and creativity.

What is your company doing to give back this year?

Share your ideas and inspire other leaders!

34 Responses

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  1. Patrick Fariss said, on December 15, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Great post! Thanks for writing such a great blog. It is motivating and inspiring to have this to read starting my day! Keep up the great work!

    • elephanthunters said, on December 15, 2009 at 11:53 am

      Thanks for joining the conversation Patrick!

  2. Ken Tullis said, on December 15, 2009 at 10:25 am

    Thanks for the post. It is refreshing to see that in the corporate America world today that there is actually someone who cares not just about the bottom line, services that are provided, but also for the backbone of the company that is producing xyz. I work for a company that is currently in a commercial turf war with a competitor and while there are individuals who work in the organixation that actually do care, the organization as a whole does not. At least that the impression most of the employees I have talked with believe and that is sad.

    • elephanthunters said, on December 15, 2009 at 11:57 am

      Ken, you bring up a good point about why leadership is so important. More often than not I have observed that team members are willing to move in the right direction if leaders will empower them and support them in their efforts. It is always difficult for team members in the ranks to set the pace on these cultural values if leadership is not involved.

  3. Mark said, on December 15, 2009 at 10:35 am

    Man, I would love to come work for Dave. It truly seems like a work environment that people enjoy being in. It’s a shame I live in PA and not TN.

  4. Mike Utech said, on December 15, 2009 at 10:36 am

    That is so awesome Daniel, thank you for sharing!
    I really love the place I am currently working, took me 18 months to get hired and it has been a God send. Busy and working my tail off but really enjoy it.
    That said, I am setting a five year goal to be working for Dave by 1015.

    Merry Christmas!

  5. BeyondTheD-Pad said, on December 15, 2009 at 11:10 am

    Dave has been a huge motivation for me personally to set actions in motion to not only be in a position that will benefit me but also put me in a position where I can help and bless other individuals. These actions include a plan to be doing the work I love which I have started and hope will blossom.

    Thanks for the post, truly inspiring.

  6. Robyn Bottens said, on December 15, 2009 at 11:26 am

    We purchased a Deluxe Wallet Envelope System from Dave’s store for each employee and will be putting cash in each spending catagory. We led most of our team through FPU early in the year and we will be doing it again starting in January for two new team memebers.

    We also get a little something for each of our team members children. After attending EntreLeadership, I had photos of all the kids framed and put in my husband’s office. We currently have 5 children amoungst our staff and when they saw their children’s pictures in “the bosses” office the comments were really interesting. If they didn’t know before, they know now that we do what we do for them and their families.

    How do you keep the Christmas giving from becoming something that’s expected and a possible disappointment if it’s not what they were expecting? Remember Clark Griswold? He was expecting the big cash bonus for the pool he’d put in and got the “gift that keeps on giving”, the jelly of the month club! I know that’s extreme, but people do start to have expectations year to year.

    Thanks for your post Daniel. Sounds like you guys had a great time! Merry Christmas!

    • elephanthunters said, on December 15, 2009 at 12:14 pm


      I LOVE the idea of putting the pics of the children in the office. That’s such a strong image to keep us focused on our real purpose.

      One thing Dave is good about is constantly setting expectations…even this year at the Christmas party he reminded each of us that while we are blessed and God has given us a great opportunity we should never expect these things or become entitled.

      I think reminding your team that anything you do above and beyond your initial commitment to them is a gift every single time and not something that should be expected.

  7. Jess said, on December 15, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Oh, what a wonderful employer! Do you have any openings?!hahaha

    I am thankful to have a job but my employer does not give so freely. Without any notice at all her cut our Christmas bonuses which have always been given but still found it in the budget to gift himself with a 10,000 ATV and his wife came in talking about the $500 she dropped on some new outfits. He also bought hams for alot of our customers who have large ins. accounts. We , as employees, have always received the hams in the past but don’t know yet about this year. The disappointment is not just about the money that would have helped each one of us employed here but mostly the lack of care or concern for how it would make us feel. I will still show up every day and work because I have to and I will do my job to the best of my ability. My husband and I want to add on to our house and start a family so we are enjoying listening to the wonderful advice that Dave offers. We are gonna “get weird” as he suggests and get our debts taken care of so that we can give freely! Thanks Dave for your geniune care for others and God Bless!

    • elephanthunters said, on December 15, 2009 at 12:19 pm

      WOW, Jess! I hope every business owner or leader reading your comment is taking note on what an impact their actions have on team moral.

      I think you nailed it when you said: ‘The disappointment is not just about the money that would have helped each one of us employed here but mostly the lack of care or concern for how it would make us feel’

      If you’re a leader, then the key to building loyalty is staying in touch with how your team feels. If you don’t know how they feel then how can you lead them? This is big!

  8. […] Christmas at Dave Ramsey’s   […]

  9. the Dad said, on December 15, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Wow. I realize I have never worked for a company even close to that. I suppose that begs the question “why not?”

    I’m halfway through “48 Days to the Work You Love” though, so there’s hope. 🙂

    Cheers for a great post.

    the Dad
    Climbing Out

  10. April said, on December 15, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    All I can say is WOW!

  11. Melissa said, on December 15, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Thank you for sharing. Tonight is my fiancee and my last class of Financial Peace. Our wedding is December 26th and I honestly feel that if we had not started the course when we did, we’d have never had the funds we needed for the wedding. Dave Ramsey is a truly inspirational person. I’ve always had respect for someone who uses their own mistakes in life to educate others. Education is the key and advocating that knowledge is so important.

    You are blessed to work for a man so grounded in Christian love. Have a beautiful Christmas. I hope one day to be an employer likewise minded!

  12. Colleen said, on December 15, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    I want to work for Dave!!!

    Unfortunately I work in the commercial real estate business and it has been a tough year. However, I feel very blessed to have a job so that I can support my kids. I’m on BS3 and looking forward to BS7!

  13. Wendy said, on December 15, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    It is difficult reading this and not desire for my Senior Business Analyst to pack us up from Dallas and move to Brentwood. My husband works for a Fortune 500 company and while his job is lucrative, it lacks the “little” things that help me feel part of any sort of corporate family.

    I can’t tell you the number of times my husband has been called to solve problems in Budaphest, China or domestically while we were on vacation or how many nights he has stayed up to complete things to be ready for co-workers half a world away.

    If his employer had even a fraction of the understanding of how the little things promote a happy home life which in turns benefits a more productive work life then I would hope they would do better.

    Instead, bonuses were reduced last year and pay increases frozen. It wouldn’t be THAT hard to understand except that the CEO took in one of the largest bonuses in the DFW metroplex.

    On the flip side – I work for myself in design and publishing and love the work I do from home while taking care of our three kids. I consider them my “co-workers” and operate on a commisison system for all of us loaded with lots of “bonuses.”

  14. Jeannette Cona-Larock said, on December 15, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    I can’t speak for a company because I work for a little tiny school in Delaware called Pike Creek Christian School. The idea of giving back starts in pre-kindergarten and goes right up through 8th grade. This year, the children participated in Operation Christmas Child and you should have seen the shoeboxes piled high and blessed during their chapel. That was no sooner done than they started a canned food drive to bless the Sunday Breakfast Mission, a local organization in the city of Wilmington. The children had huge smiles on their faces as they brought their boxes of canned goods into the chapel. Teaching our children to give back when they have so much is a wonderful lesson. I wish you could see the hearts of these little ones. They bless me every day in the lunchroom as I greet each one.

  15. Flash said, on December 15, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Don’t mean to be a dark cloud but my company took 3 days of vacation away from me to help balance the budget. I can’t imagine this ever occuring in my company. What a wonderful day it would be. Keep up the good work Dave!

    Thanks for the insight Daniel. Warms the heart and spirit.

  16. Lenny Monroe said, on December 15, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Thanks so much for the post. I have to admit that although I’ve never experienced that kind of treatment, someday I will be doing it for my employees. Dave sets the bar high and leads by example. Now we just have to get busy and do the “Ramsey-Thing” on the West coast.
    Blessings and Merry Christmas.
    Lenny, Susy y familia

  17. Jacki said, on December 15, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    I now work for a small CPA firm. Every year during tax season, the partners bring in a massage therapist every Friday, and we all get a 15 minute chair massage. I used to work for a large corporation where sercurity wouldn’t even let my husband or my kids come see my office. Now, this summer, my kids had extra-curricular activities during the day. My kids came to work with me for an hour or so, then I would leave to go drop them off at their activities. Little things like that really show me that I made a good move with my job change. Those are the kinds of things that make me want to work harder for my employer.

    • elephanthunters said, on December 15, 2009 at 3:46 pm

      Jacki, I can’t tell you how many business owners wish they could hear there team members say those words: ‘…the kinds of things that make me want to work harder for my employer.’

      Once they discover what those little things are it really becomes a lot easier to motivate people doesn’t it? The truth is those little things really are a small cost in the grand scheme of things.

      I hope all the employers reading are getting this…Great stuff!

      People want to work hard, but you have to give them a reason to and let them know that you have a soul.

  18. Tonie Rayburn said, on December 15, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    This brought tears to my eyes!

  19. Shannon Flood said, on December 15, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    It is so amazing that there are such generous people in this world like Dave. His thoughts towards life, and the people that live it, touches even the biggest grinch’s heart. Merry Christmas to you all.

  20. Maggie said, on December 15, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Thanks for giving us a glimpse at what goes on in this company!

    I just wanted to respond to your questions asking if our companies are generous and what others are doing to be generous. I’m priveleged to work for a small, but very generous contracting company. The owners treat everyone fairly, and when possible, generously. They believe strongly that our success as a company is a result of an entire team’s hard work, and they believe that because of that we should all share in the rewards. As employees we receive Christmas bonuses, a turkey or Honey Baked Ham at Thanksgiving, bonuses at the end of the fiscal year, and Easter eggs with cash and an invitation to attend church with them.

    Every year the employees pull money together to try and get a great gift for them as thanks for their generosity througout the year. As we talked together this year, though, we began to feel like what our bosses would enjoy more than anything is to know that their employees have developed that same spirit of generosity and want to act on it to impact our community. We decided that we would all bring a few bags of groceries, toiletries, socks, gloves, etc. to donate to a local homeless shelter/mission. And instead of buying them a gift that they don’t really need or want, we would collect money to donate, too, in honor of our bosses. Our little company of about 25 people collected $1,000 and about 16 moving boxes full of items to donate! When we explained to the owners at our party what we were doing and why, they cried. My boss told me yesterday how impressed she was and that it seemed like everyone went all out. She started tearing up again, and I enjoyed getting the opportunity to affirm to her that we were motivated to do this because they work so hard to keep us employed and have set an incredible example in their giving. The housing/contracting industry in our area has taken a huge hit and many are unemployed who would have previously never dreamed that would be their reality. God continues to provide work for us, even if it’s just a few small jobs to keep us going, and I am CONVINCED that it’s because of the integrity of our employees and the faithful generosity of our owners.

  21. Ben Sealey said, on December 15, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    Dang rich people. Always giving an junk. Tickes me off. We should tax the junk out of bad rich people. All they do is give give give. Punish those people. Tax tax tax.

    less sarcastic side.

    Thanks for the post! Thats so great that he is doing all this for his team.

  22. Violet Romero said, on December 15, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    What a Blessing!! it fills my heart to read the great things that you’re able to share with the whole team! May God continue to bless all of you because I know you all have a GREAT bitg part in making this Ministry as special as it is!! Merry Christmas, and please give Dave my regards and tanks! 🙂

  23. MikeL said, on December 15, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    It’s easier to be generous when the company has found it’s sweet spot: attracting & retaining talent, meeting needs in a unique & effective way, and serving a burgeoning market. Dave has tapped a huge market, is earning a terrific living and is growing a terrific business. Praise God.

    For those of us struggling to meet payroll and to keep the lights on, movies, hams, parties and gift certificates must take a back seat to survival. Many of us bosses have gone above & beyond in the past but, given the Great Recession, we simply do not have the wherewithal these days.

    I offer these thoughts not as sour grapes but as recognition that the economy has wracked many of us like never before. Someday, I hope to rehire the many people we have lost in the past year so we can all have merrier Christmas.

  24. Tick Tock said, on December 15, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Remember when we had the gas spike a few years ago? At the time, I worked for a company whose CEO gave us gift cards to the local gas station on a weekly basis. I’m retired now. I was sad to leave, not because of the gift cards, but because of such awesome coworkers.

  25. Jason said, on December 15, 2009 at 6:39 pm


    Keep up the good work! It is a well written article with a good message. I already had no doubt that it would be great to work for Dave everyday. We have recently finished FPU and I am looking at several ways to spread the message and help others.

    Thank you.

  26. Karen said, on December 16, 2009 at 10:09 am

    Wow! What a wonderful place to work! I am sure that working with Dave inspires all of his team members to be better every day! It is also wonderful to know that there are organizations who really do care about the families and are not just saying they are a “family oriented” organization. Dave and his team have a wonderful ministry and you are definitely changing the way we all think about having debt. My husband and I are so blessed to have paid for Christmas totally with cash thanks to our efforts and Dave’s advice. Keep up the wonderul work! We are spreading the word to everyone we know!

    Thank you and God Bless you!

  27. […] Dave’s whole Christmas giving extravaganza actually lasted all week. Here are some of the things we were blessed with before the big shindig on Saturday: breakfast goodness on two mornings after our team meetings, gift card to Dick’s Sporting Goods, Camelbak water bottle, gift card to a restaurant of our choice (I picked PF Chang’s), catered lunch complete with caroling from a local high school’s show choir, 8 lb. honey-baked ham (um, delicious!), and time off work! I think I see a trend … Dave knows we appreciate “free” food! Read more about it from my coworker Daniel T.’s point of view. […]

  28. Giving like no one else « said, on December 17, 2009 at 12:19 am

    […] like no one else Go to https://elephanthunters.wordpress.com/2009/12/15/give-like-no-one-else/ and read Daniel Tardy’s blogpost titled “Give Like No One Else”.  It highlights […]

  29. Donita said, on December 27, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    All I can say is WOW!

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