From the CEO’s Desk: Our Secret to Long Term Success


I needed to find the secret. I needed to get my hands on the special recipe. The guidebook. The User Manual. The secret potion. The formula for success that tells you how to keep a company around for Fifty Years. That makes customers keep coming back. The manuscript for having a pristine reputation. For always being the good guy that does the right thing. There had to be a piece of paper here somewhere that gave me that equation.

I recently was given the honor of succeeding Dan West as President and CEO of Macrolease Corporation, a company that he founded and ran continuously since 1969. That is Nineteen Sixty Nine. The year we landed on the moon for the first time. The year of Woodstock. The year that the Miracle Mets won the World Series. In business for half a century. Before Personal Computers and Cell Phones. Before Fax Machines! Long term success like this, doesn’t happen often. Especially in the equipment finance and leasing business. So, I thought as I stepped into the office for the first time on June 17 of this year, there must be some secret recipe for this success. And darn it all, I was going to find it.

For the first two weeks here, Dan and I shared an office. During that time I tried to absorb as much from him as I could. I was, after all, sitting at the feet of an industry icon. Sure, I had 35 years of experience in the equipment finance and leasing industry. I had worked for big companies and small companies; even my own company. But I was never around someone that started a business and ran it for half a century. “Pass all this knowledge on to me!” I wanted to say. “Show me where the secret formula is”. I imagined a safe somewhere, hidden behind a picture in the office. In that safe was the secret formula – like the recipe for Coca Cola. The secret to keeping a business successful for Fifty Years. That’s what I expected to find.

But Dan gave me nothing and I was afraid to ask him directly. He just sat there and answered the few business questions that I asked him. In as few words as possible. When people came into the office to ask him a question, he pointed them my way. He let me dive in head first. He exposed me immediately to the business. The heart and soul of Macrolease: The people that work here every day. Lots of meetings and memos and deals to discuss but no secret potion. No formula.

After two weeks of this, as Dan was finally leaving for his much deserved retirement, after days of searching in vain for the secret to his success, I just had to come straight out and ask him: “Dan, please tell me. You’ve been in business for Fifty Years. Where is the secret recipe for this success?” He looked at me with a wry smile and said, “The secret formula is here. In this office. You just need to look hard for it. I left it here for you. You’ll find it. Just keep looking.”

Inspired by these words, I spent the next week looking under every nook and cranny in the office. I searched under my desk. Under my chair. Behind pictures hanging on the wall. I pulled the copy machine out and looked behind it. Dan said he left the secret formula for me in the office. He was passing it on to me. I had to find it.

In between looking for the secret formula, I did have some work to do. I was, after all, running a business. This meant, mostly, interacting on a daily basis with the people of Macrolease. The Sales Managers. The Sales Assistants. The Credit Team. The Operations, Funding and Collections Teams. Watching them work every day. Observing how dedicated they are. How much they care about their clients; about the business. About doing things right. I felt their passion. I fed off their energy. Although I had been involved in other companies before and been around a lot of great people, I had never seen anything like this. Long tenured employees – some who have been here for over Forty Years – working tirelessly to get things done. To give their clients great service. To make sure that Macrolease always performed beyond expectations. Working every day to be creative and innovative and provide each client with a unique solution catered to their specific needs.

And then it hit me. The secret formula. The potion that Dan left in the office for me. It wasn’t written on a piece of paper. Or etched in stone on tablets. It was the people. Dan left me the people. An extraordinary group of people doing extraordinary things every day. Dedicated people with a real passion for what they do. A burning desire to be successful. People that care about their clients and do whatever they can to give them the best possible service. That is the secret formula that has kept Macrolease in business and thriving since 1969. It’s the people.

I am honored to have the opportunity to lead these same people into the next chapter of Macrolease’s life. We will continue to do what we do best. We will continue to give our clients the best service in the industry. We will treat each interaction as if it’s the most important moment of the day. We will continue to customize solutions that address each client’s unique needs. We will continue to react with a sense of urgency. We will continue to be accountable and transparent. And we will always have passion for what we do. Just like we have for the past half century.

The secret formula for long term success in the equipment finance and leasing business is not written on a piece of paper. It is not something that can be copied, hacked or imitated. It’s the people.

Macrolease: Since 1969. Extraordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things Every Day.

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