Born: Blackburn, England. He moved to U.S. at age 12.
Education: Began at Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, Mich.; finished with a bachelor of arts from the University of Michigan
What is the best business lesson you’ve learned?
No. 1, have a sense of focus around why your company is different, what is your reason for being in the marketplace. Also, try to have a simple business model. Sometimes it is the most difficult thing in the world for a large, complex company to get simple in their business model. Inevitably, there are inefficiencies that can grow into morale problems and confusion in how you approach the marketplace. So I think simplicity, focus on what the company stands for and how you serve the marketplace, that is the beginning and end of everything.
What traits or skills are essential for a business leader?
You need business experience. You have to have gone through many good and bad experiences. You also need to be an effective communicator. That can help with morale and enthusiasm in your company. If I’m inconsistent in my communication, I will have lost the right to ask my leaders and employees alike to walk through walls to make the business successful.