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Robert T. Sakowitz

January 2, 1981

President Sakowitz, Inc. Current: Chairman and President Hazak Corporate Consulting – Houston, Texas

Robert T. Sakowitz is President of one of the last privately held fashion specialty stores of major size in America still to be totally owned and operated by its founding family. Joining the organization in 1962, Mr. Sakowitz has led the firm (founded in 1902) from a position of local prominence in Texas to one of national recognition in the retailing field, an accomplishment particularly notable during a time of extreme economic competition. His creative and innovative methods have been hallmarks in the emergence of the American retailer as an international business force. “Recognition is less important than doing the good deed.”

Philosophy of Life

A “Philosophy of Life and Business” for Northwood’s Students? An honor and privilege, Sir, but hard to condense into a few words. Here’s an attempt:

Contrary to the belief of many in America, a man is not defined by what he does, but who he becomes over his Lifetime. You will encounter so many people, so many personalities, so many challenges-so much to learn, and if you approach it that way, so much enjoyment. Close friends, that source of personal support and concern, comfort, warmth and laughter with and at ourselves, cannot be replaced.

But in addition to your education of the old adage of “three “R”s, I add my own:

Risk. On my formal-dress pocket-watch is inscribed one of my favorite expressions; “Trust All Men, but Cut the Cards”. It’s how you balance the factors of risk that’s important. When you do your Homework, the odds get more favorable. Taking risks frequently leads to making mistakes, but the best lessons are learned from those mistakes… because you remember them! It’s how you respond to them that counts.

Relationships. Relationships matter. Relationships don’t just happen; they need to be fostered and nurtured. Interpersonal relationships make and break deals. And to work, they are All based upon some form of Respect for each other. Discover what connects us to each other. Do the words that I say and the body language I exhibit mean the same thing in the other person’s Culture? In India nodding your head expresses a negative; sideways accompanies a “YES” – just the opposite in the West!

Resolve. Resolve is that strength you somehow find in the darkest moments. To stand your ground; To not give up; it’s the will to succeed; to pr vail. The pain of going through something is part of the growing up-don’t run from it; push through it! The capability to achieve you have; but only coupled with the willingness will you achieve. If you believe in something and have the passion for it, and know in your gut it’s truly right, don’t give up. That’s Resolve!

Recognize and embrace Life for what it is: YOUR Adventure Story – that ONLY YOU can, should, and WILL write, in YOUR words. Let no one else write it for you.

And the words of historian Edward Gibbon: “The winds and waves are always on the sides of the ablest Navigators.

Good luck to all – stay well, stay safe, and stay in touch with one another.

Robert T. Sakowitz