Education: Undergraduate degree, finance, and MBA, University of Utah
First Job: Zellerbach Paper Co. (which became Crown Zellerbach), driving a truck and forklift
Career moves: Crown Zellerbach and Acco World Corp., which was acquired by Fortune Brands
Boards: RR Donnelley, Pactiv Corp.
Resides: Lake Forest
What is the most important thing you've learned in business? You need to understand that the beauty of any strategy is your ability to execute it. It's part of growing up and maturing in businesses. Things at times look interesting and intellectually stimulating. In the end, it's your ability to delivery that makes the rubber hit the road.
You have to experience many things and see many things over time, and that helps you do a better job of figuring out what the possibilities are.
What is the greatest business challenge you've faced and how did you overcome it? Probably the biggest challenge has been our office products business, where there was a significant consolidation with the resellers. We had to totally remake our business front end to back end to be able to compete and succeed in that business. It takes time, and no one person does that; it's absolutely a team of folks that makes those kinds things happen.
Whom do you admire most in business and why? I'm tempted to say Jack Welch. He was a guy who was able to run varied businesses, and he ran them well. Our approach is quite different than his would be. There's no one person.
I love to see what other people (do), evaluate it, and see what applies or doesn't apply. I learn from people I see in business, people I've worked for and people who work for me.
I can't tell you the number of things I've learned from folks who actually work for me. It's hard for me to pin a person. I learned so many things from so many different people.
One size doesn't fit all in business. There's no single way to succeed. There are many ways and many approaches. And oftentimes, the best approach is a combination of approaches. You see snippets of that with different companies or folks. It's fun to appreciate that and then try to sit down and figure out how it might be applicable to your own business.
Life's all about choices and alternatives. Rarely is there one choice.