The Hesterberg file Featured

7:00pm EDT January 31, 2007

Age: 53

Born: Cincinnati

Education: Bachelor of arts degree, Davidson College; MBA, marketing, Xavier University

First job: Customer relations representative, Ford Motor Co.

What is the best business lesson you’ve learned?

There is absolutely no substitute for integrity and high moral values.

What skills can help a business leader succeed?

People skills and communication skills. But, more importantly, making clear to your people that you’re not asking them to do anything you wouldn’t be willing to do yourself.

Name one universal truth you’ve learned about leading a business.

You have to focus your entire organization on a couple of simple priorities. If you focus everyone on accomplishing two or three things, you’ll get it done. If you try to accomplish too many things, you’ll get nothing done.

What is your definition of business success?

Obviously, you have the metrics of profit growth and sustained ability of a business. But to me, when I leave, I want to leave this business with a team of people who can function just as well without me as with me.

You want to develop a business that is process-driven and not personality-driven.