The Harris File Featured

8:00pm EDT September 25, 2009

Born: Chester, Cheshire, England

Education: Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, University of Wales

First job: Welder’s mate

What is the best business lesson you’ve learned?

I’ve had lots of various lessons that I’ve accrued, but the most important ones are probably to confront yourself with lots of different challenges, and fix people first. If your people are all right, the other issues will take care of themselves.

What traits or skills are essential for a business leader?

The way I assess it is that success takes three things: brains, balls and balance. You need to have at least a couple of those traits. There are people of average intelligence who are still successful because they have the balls to make the edgy decisions and they have the ability to balance themselves in their roles.

What universal truths have you learned about leadership?

There is one truth that is continually reinforced to me: You are only as good as the team that supports you.

What is your definition of success?

To continue to grow and build relevance in an organization that is sustainable.