The Cubbin File Featured

8:00pm EDT July 26, 2009

Born: Detroit

Education: Bachelor’s degree in psychology, Wayne State University; law degree from the Detroit College of Law (now Michigan State University College of Law)

First job: I shined shoes at the Detroit Golf Club when I was 13.

What is the best business lesson you’ve learned?

Listen and be humble. Know that you are not the smartest person in the room. Lots of people can contribute, have good ideas and are willing to work hard. You do have to make your own decisions at some point, but the outcome is usually much better if you let others contribute.

What traits or skills are essential for a business leader?

Humility and energy and a willingness and ability to work hard. In addition, an ability to put great people around you.

What universal truth have you learned about leadership?

Everybody has to lead based on their own personality and experience. It is critical to be yourself as a leader. If you’re not acting like yourself, it will become apparent to people very quickly. So the key is to be sincere and be yourself.