2015 C-Suite Awards presented by Venue & Lead Magazine
What is the most challenging aspect of being leader?
I think it’s having the courage to separate yourself from others, and by that I mean when things are tough and people are worried or scared about the future, it’s up to the leader to offer hope and to paint a path of, you know, we can get through this and we can get forward together. And just the opposite too. When things are going well and everyone is congratulating themselves it’s up to the leader to say that while it’s great what we’ve accomplished, we can do better. I think that is the role of a leader.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
I’ve gotten lots of advice, but what sticks out is some advice I got when I was working at Procter and Gamble. Some folks convinced me to stay at Procter and Gamble instead of going back to graduate school, and I essentially got my MBA at Procter in brand management, and that turned out to be a great decision that really helped me throughout the rest of my career.
What aspects of your personality have contributed to your success?
I am very competitive by nature and I’d say the trait that I hear a lot is that I am very determined. I get a goal and I am very committed and determined to accomplishing that goal.
How do you think your employees would describe you?
Certainly determined, but I’ve also heard that at the end of the day people trust me. That is an important part of leadership, the people in your organization need to trust that you are going to do the right thing for them.
What aspect of your company are you most passionate about?
I am passionate about everything with Education at Work! I founded the organization and it’s committed to helping college students get through school more affordably and also get some job skills along the way so that they can be more employable once they get their degree. I’m passionate about everything about that, helping these college students get through, get their degree and then get on to the next phase of their life.
What is the craziest thing you have ever done?
Probably starting a company from scratch at age 55, which was Education at Work. Starting companies tends to be for young people and I am a bit older but despite that it’s been a lot of fun and it’s taken a lot of energy and time but it’s certainly worth it.