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Last Update: Thursday July 29, 2021

Key Idea: Find Joy in Little Things

Be happy and let others know that you are happy to see them.  The team at Community Insurance likes the little things that the owner does to make them feel valued.

Key Question:


Every morning Milton walks through the office and says hello to every employee and says their name when he does it. In this show you see him doing this daily routine.

Q:  What impact could this very small gesture have on the employees?

Sonia is the office manager and is responsible for the day-to-day supervision of the entire team. However, Milton is the owner. He is the "wise one." He is the person who actually signs the paychecks. He is the one who built this business from nothing. He is the one who is wealthy enough to quit, sell out, move to some resort and sit in a rocking chair all day.

When every person there knows he knows their name and everyone else's name it says, we work in a place where people are valued. We're all important and we know that because Mr. Moses knows each of us.

Q:  Is it a coincidence that Milton says he treats others the way he wants to be treated and Shirley, the receptions said, she tries to put herself in the shoes of the person calling?

A:  Probably not. Milton either hires people like himself or teaches people his values. His philosophy, which comes from the words of Jesus, "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you," is powerful and positive. And, the only way behavior can be taught is through example. People can pretend to listen to our words but it is our actions that count.

What do you think? Do you think Milton and everyone at Community Insurance dressed up for our cameras?

Possible answers: The answer is no. We tell people it is important that we catch them on a typical day. We don't want people cleaning off their desks or changing anything for us. The truth is, Milton wears a coat and tie everyday which is the dress code for men and women are required to wear dresses or skirts, no pants.

Milton said it might seem old fashioned but to him it is important for the office to have a professional look. Customers come in for service and he wants to demonstrate to them that this company is respectable and dependable. He also thinks that what we wear influences the way we perform our work. Just as a person playing on a professional sports team is required to wear the uniform, the team members at Community Insurance wear "the uniform." 

Think about it

Clip from: Community Insurance

Chicago: In 1962 Milton Moses thought about going into television, but there were few places for African Americans. Instead, he joined Community Insurance Center and was made President in 1968. 

Today his firm is one of the largest African-American owned insurance agencies in the Midwest. Like millions of other small business owners, he has created jobs for decades. He established his company as an institution in a quiet neighborhood and is always looking for ways to empower the next generation.

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Community Insurance

Milton Moses, CEO

526 E. 87th Street
Chicago, IL 60619
773 651 6200

Visit our web site:

Office: 773 651 6200

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1962

Find Joy in Little Things

HATTIE: How do you like being here?

SHIRLEY: Oh, I love it. I love it, and I like what I do.

Mr. Moses, you have a call on line five.


HATTIE: We talked earlier about smart things you've done, like computerization, building your own building. What are the mistakes you've made?

MILTON: Well, hmm, I fired everybody at one point.

HATTIE: What do you mean?

MILTON: I mean, I literally fired--I think we had 12 or 14 employees, and I think I fired nine of them or 10.

HATTIE: What was your reasoning?

MILTON: I don't think it was totally impulse because I had been looking at the situation for a long time, and I just was not satisfied with the quality of work and the attitude of the people who were involved.

This is a people business.

You have to have people on both sides, both your employee and your customer. And they have to mesh together so that you've got to have an employee that's pleasant, that wants to provide service to our clients. And then on the other side of the coin, we have a client that needs our service, and they want and expect to get professional service from people at least with a little smile on their face.

My phone, for instance. When I get a call, you don't go through someone to reach me. If I'm available, the next person that picks up the phone is me. That's what we're in business for. We're here to provide service, and if you can't call me and reach me at any time that I'm in the office, then something's wrong with our operation.

HATTIE: After 37 years, aren't you sick and tired of this?

MILTON: No, I'm not. You have to enjoy doing what you do. I think that's number one. If you don't like what you're doing, I don't care whether you're making a lot of money or a little money, it's not going to satisfy your desire to achieve. Hank's 84. He's here every day, and he has the same feeling as I do. It's fun. It's enjoyment. And we enjoy just conversing in the mornings. He looks forward to coming in, talking with me five or 10 minutes every morning. So if I'm not here, he misses me.

(Voiceover) And I think that's what I want to do. I want to be here every morning. And when I'm not here, people on staff will miss me, they want to know. So they just talk with me for a few minutes every day.

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