Born: River Rouge, Mich.
Education: Bachelor’s degree, business administration, University of Michigan
First job: When I was 14, I was a Red Cross-certified lifeguard at the River Rouge community pool.
What is the best business lesson you’ve learned?
I’m going to steal one from Henry Ford. It’s a saying I believe to be true: ‘Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re right.’
What traits or skills are essential for a business leader?
It all depends on what level you’re at in the organization. But I think No. 1 is to lead by example. The old adage is true. You also have to manage your attitude. You need to be fundamentally optimistic. Major things have not been accomplished by pessimists.
What is a universal truth you’ve learned about leadership?
You will get what you tolerate. If you continue to tolerate something bad, you’ll continue to get it. So you have to make people give you what you expect. If you have high expectations, you will tend to get very good results.
What is your definition of success?
Success comes with doing what you love to do and living life by what priorities are important to you. If you are successful at doing something you love to do, you’re going to feel like a success.