Born: Dover, Del.
Education: Bachelor’s degrees in psychology and communication, Southwest Baptist University, Bolivar, Mo.; master’s degrees in communication and clinical psychology, Central Missouri State University (now University of Central Missouri), Warrensburg, Mo.; doctorate degree in communication, The Ohio State University
What is the best business lesson you’ve learned?
It has been the tremendous importance of doing what you say you are going to do and only saying you’re going to do what you’re capable of. There are just way too many who overpromise and underdeliver. As technical as we’ve become, it ultimately comes down to trust and the ability of the customers, the employees and all of the embedded communities to believe in what it is you are saying.
What is a universal truth you’ve learned about leadership?
Reward risk-taking. When I became head of marketing here at Kelly, one of the things I preached was if they weren’t failing a third to a quarter of the time, they weren’t trying hard enough. They weren’t taking enough risk and weren’t going to be good marketing people. Sometimes, we build these cultures with zero tolerance for failure, and I think that is a mistake.
What is your definition of success?
It is to fulfill my business mission and to simultaneously leave the world at least a slightly better place than it was before I got there. You can’t just be about the business.