The Bickes file Featured

7:00pm EDT December 31, 2006

Born: Detroit. My family moved to Atlanta when I was in third grade.

Tigers or Braves?

I’m a Braves fan — I’m converted.

Education: University of Georgia, bachelor of science degree, business administration, emphasis in accounting

What has been your greatest business challenge, and how did you overcome it?

Early on, I tried to apply more authority than influence. I was so driven for results that I was not applying the correct management style with the people. It was more of a ‘My way or the highway,’ and it was all results driven. That change occurred six, seven or eight years into my career. While I’m an intense competitor, I also recognize that you can’t make people perform — you need to lead them to perform.

What’s the most important business lesson you’ve learned?

Trying to look for the valuable things you can learn from mentors and really embracing those. I’ve probably had four or five business mentors in my career that I may not have agreed with every piece of management style or approach they took, but there are certain things they did very well and [I] learned from them.

Whom do you most admire in business and why?

I don’t know that it’s so much an individual as it is leadership traits that I admire. A leader that understands that humility is an important part of their leadership ability. People that are very competitive, but at the same time are realistic, and people that have been able to build a team and a culture that people like to be around, have fun doing it and are successful in the process.