The Sexton file Featured

7:00pm EDT January 29, 2008

Born: McDowell, Ky.

Education: B.S., nursing, Eastern Kentucky University; master’s degree, community mental health; Ph.D., nursing, University of Kentucky

What is the best business lesson you’ve learned?

You have to have the right people in the job. All else is very difficult to achieve if you don’t have a good match of the job to be done and the people doing it. And you need to have that at every level.

What traits or skills are essential for a business leader?

You have to be competent in the job you’re being asked to do. You have to have good people skills, you have to have the ability to organize and to plan for the work to be done. You have to be able have collaboration skills and facilitation skills that help you communicate with people over what is the job to be done, what is the journey we are on, where is the destination that we are going to, what are our priorities to get us there, and be able to communicate those in a way that people can embrace them. Obviously, you have core values like integrity and honesty and being able to be sincere in what you do to be committed to your organization.

And it probably wouldn’t be bad to have a sense of humor about it all. Keep yourself grounded.

What universal truths have you learned about business leadership?

You need integrity, transparency and communication. Those are probably universal truths in whatever business you are in. Also, you need to know you are doing things the right way for the right reason.

What is your definition of success?

At the end of the day, it’s that I’ve done everything I could have done that day to make a difference.