Born: Canfield, Ohio
Education: Bachelor of science degree, civil engineering, University of Houston; MBA, Houston Baptist University
What was your first job?
Superintendent for a home builder
What is the best business advice you’ve received?
Treat other people the way you want to be treated
What is your definition of success?
I’ve got one daughter, Allison, and she’s now graduated from college. She was educated as a teacher and wanted to teach elementary school but decided to be a law firm recruiter. She is phenomenally successful and just absolutely loves it. It doesn’t get any better than watching your kids grow up to be incredibly successful adults, not just from a business standpoint but from all aspects of life.
What do you like best about being a leader?
The people. I like developing and mentoring people. I like being able to work with someone and see them accomplish their dreams and have a role in doing that.
Zimmerman on decision-making: If we can’t reach a decision, I’ll make it based on the best information I have. If the decision ends up being wrong, then it’s my job to take the hit and not pass that along to the team. The team needs to realize why we made the decision and what we need to do to fix it, but I don’t need to go beat them up.
Fast facts about KB Home:
- Founded in 1957, with headquarters in Los Angeles
- The first home builder on the New York Stock Exchange
- KB built 39,013 homes nationwide in 2006
- Has markets in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin