Dick Hite
by Karen Alberg Grossman
Dick Hite
Dick Hite

While this title would not be my typical choice for “escape” or “fantasy” summer reading on a remote sandy beach with a chilled margarita, I must admit that I truly enjoyed this book. More importantly, I learned a lot from it—lessons that will serve me well in business and in life.

To preface, let it be said that I’ve known Dick Hite for most of my 26 years in the menswear business. His affiliation with Norton Ditto, an esteemed Houston apparel store since 1908, elevated my opinion of him as a qualified commentator on client relationships. With this book, he does not disappoint.

The book (110 easy-to-read pages) is divided into “seven building blocks for success.” His premise is simple: “In every moment, whether we realize it or not, we are creating our relationships—and we get to choose what we create…If at any point we don’t like what we are building…we have the ability, the freedom and the responsibility to create something different by making different choices. In every relationship, whether personal or professional, we are the architects of our successes and our failures.”

The Art Of Developing Loyal ClientsSimple: yes. But simplistic: not at all, as Hite masterfully explains the numerous nuances involved in one’s ability to create relationships. In the process, he quotes various “experts” from Malcolm Gladwell, Peter Drucker, and Warren Buffett to Marcus Aurelius, Alexander Hamilton, and the Dalai Lama.

Of the seven building blocks, the one that most resonates for me personally is number seven: connection. In this chapter, Hite reminds us that “amidst our many successes, there is an invitation to use our professions not only to make a living, but also to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those we meet along the way.” He goes on to give some powerful real-life examples, noting that “we often wait to make the big gestures while neglecting the 10-minute sized offerings that would bring a surprise amount of encouragement, ease, and support to those around us.” He concludes by reminding us that “you and I are in business not just to make a paycheck but to make a contribution, and we do so through connecting to others with small, meaningful acts of generosity and service. Through our service, we fortify our relationships with our clients, and this is what sets us apart.”

The Art of Developing Loyal Clients (copyright 2016) is available at