CEO Reveals Secret : by Sandra Chereb

Madamsabi's Blog

For decades, Jay Thiessens hid a painful secret as he built his machine and tool company from a mom-and-pop operation into a $5 million-a-year enterprise. During the day he hid behind the role of a harried businessman, too busy to review contracts or shuffle through mail. At night, his wife, Bonnie, would help him sort through the paperwork at the kitchen table, in the living room, or sometimes sitting up in bed.

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Other tasks he delegated to a core group of managers at B&J Machine Tool Co. who had no idea their boss couldn’t read.

“I worked for him for seven years and I had no clue,” said Jack Sala, now the engineering manager for Truckee Precision, a B&J competitor. “I was his general manager. He would bring legal stuff to me and say, ‘You’re better at legalese than me.’ I never knew I was the only one reading them.”

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