A business executive by the name of Walt Bettinger likes to tell the story of the only course in college in which he failed to get an A. Bettinger, the president and CEO of the Charles Schwab Corporation, was in his senior year and really determined to keep his perfect 4.0 grade-point average. He had spent hours studying and memorizing formulas for a different upper-level business course.
The professor handed out the final exam and it was on just one piece of paper, which surprised everyone because they had anticipated a test with dozens of questions, as Bettinger recalled in an interview with Adam Bryant, author of the Corner Office feature in the New York Times. One side of the paper was blank and when students turned it over, so was the other side. The professor then said to them, "I've taught you everything I can teach you about business in the last ten weeks, but the most important message, the most important question, is this: What's the name of the lady who cleans this building?"Bettinger did know the answer and receiver a B for the class but gained a valuable lesson. These were lessons I was taught working for Dale Brown and Sue Gunter. It's not the X & O's -- it's about the people and how you treat them.