2015 C-Suite Awards presented by Venue & Lead Magazine
What is the most challenging aspect of being leader?
The most challenging aspect of being a leader is creating balance in the organization as we move from where we are to where we are going. I try to read the organization’s capabilities and our people and then also read the market, or where we are trying to go. It’s about maintaining that elasticity so nothing breaks. We try to honor what we do really well, but at the same time move people ahead and keep everyone on board. Maintaining that balance and that passion is challenging.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice I’ve ever received is to trust your heart.
What aspects of your personality have contributed to your success?
I am insanely curious about how things work. When I find something I’m interested in, I give myself over to it and I’m very passionate about it. I’m quite driven, and that helps. But I also see systems, and that might not be a personality type when it starts but when I look at organizations I cannot not see systems, and then I want to figure out how they work and make them better.
How do you think your employees would describe you?
I ask my employees how they would describe me and they say that I am a passionate individual who sees systems, who leads from a business mind but also leads from his heart. They say I care about everybody on the team, sometimes to a fault because you take care of us more than you take care of myself. When I ask them what they would like to see me change about my leadership style, they say it would be helpful if you would be a little more patient with how quickly we achieve results.
What aspect of your company are you most passionate about?
I am exceedingly passionate about the gift we have been given to help students transform their lives, to transform how they think, what they know and how they act on the world. It’s the best job in the world, to help young people develop into wonderful people.
What is the craziest thing you have ever done?
I was out with some friends on these two sailboats off the coast of Prince Edward’s Island in Canada and I decided to swim from one to the other, about 500 yards in between. I got part way across and I realized that both boats had changed courses and both boats had lost sight of me, and there’s that moment in time when you get to decide, am I going to panic or am I going to trust that I’m going to be ok and that my friends are going to come back for me. They came back for me but what I learned in the process is that I’m really good at treading water.