College: Honorary doctorate from Central Michigan University
First job: I was a ballet teacher when I was 14 years old.
What is the best business lesson you’ve learned?
Don’t take it personally. Business is business, and personal is personal. That pertains to everything. It’s great if you’re passionate about something related to business. But don’t be emotional. There is a difference between passion and emotion.
What traits or skills are essential for a business leader?
You need integrity, honesty, ethics, backbone and effort. And you need to be fearless.
What universal truth have you learned about leadership?
If people don’t respect you, you can’t lead.
What is your definition of success?
From a tactical standpoint, you want to have a company that is profitable, a company that doesn’t miss payroll. From a less tactical standpoint, you want to have a company that creates venues and opportunities to change and better everyone’s situation in life. Then, it’s enjoyable to do what you’re doing.