The Donges file Featured

8:00pm EDT September 25, 2008

Born: New York City

Education: U.S. Naval Academy, MBA from DePaul University/University of Detroit

Childhood aspiration: Top Gun fighter pilot

Favorite board game: Trivial Pursuit

First job: Golf caddy

What did your first job teach you? That when you make a bad swing, you can’t change it — you just have to move on. Also that a lot of business is done on the golf course.

Boards he serves on: National Multi-Housing Council, National Association of Homebuilders, Community Life Concepts

Donges on e-mail: We’re still a company that wants people to talk to you and make you feel you’re part of the team and you’re not just an e-mail address. You certainly don’t want things getting out because once printed, once sent, you can’t retrieve — at least not fast enough for today because they read them so fast. You cannot take back slander. You can’t take back misperceptions, when all it would have taken was walking down the hall and talking to the person or picking up the phone. People tend to want to hurry up and solve the problem very quickly, and the easiest way to do that is to clear your e-mail stack — if it’s still sitting there, then it’s still your problem. The easiest way to do that is give a reply and get it out of the queue as quickly as possible. It can be abrasive or slam mail. It’s just terrible. You see a lot of very direct e-mail with a bunch of CCs on it. The CCs are meant not to help the situation but to cover up the situation. People over-CC so that we can ensure that a lot of people — particularly those who are insecure — can show that they’re in control when they really aren’t.