Education: B.S., business finance, California State University, Long Beach
First job: I was a recreation coach when I was 15 or 16 years old. I had to make up games for kids who where dropped off at a high school each day. So I came up with goofy games like Frisbee football and that kind of stuff.
What is the best business lesson you have learned?
There are no shortcuts. So-called ‘overnight success’ takes 15 years, for goodness’ sake. So you have to get in there and work it. There are absolutely no shortcuts.
What traits or skills are essential for a business leader?
Being open-minded, leading by example, being a person of great character and being somebody people would want to follow naturally because you stand for something.
Also, you need stamina, both physically and emotionally. You have to be able to pull from a well deep within you at times and give employees something they feel they can connect with. That’s a real secret ingredient for great leaders.
What are some universal truths you have learned about leadership?
The higher you go, the more people you serve. That fact really helps you to prioritize what you do each day. You also need good mentors, you need someone to talk to, see all your flaws but still know your intentions are good. In that respect, mentors are invaluable.
What is your definition of success?
What would really be great is if hundreds of people in this organization, when they retire, would feel like they made a huge contribution to CEVA. When I retire, I’d know that at the same exact moment, people are ready to step in who will run things even better than those of us currently running the company did. That would be cool.