The Dawes file Featured

7:00pm EDT December 26, 2008

Born: Hawthorne, Calif.

Education: B.A. in religion, Taylor University, Upland, Ind.; master’s degree in health administration, Indiana University

What is the best business lesson you’ve learned?

To change my mind about something. I might have a great idea, believe that it is the best thing we can do, and I’m convinced of it in my own mind. But others talk to me, communicate with me, go through it and so on, and I become convinced that I need to change my mind, that it wasn’t the way I thought.

What traits or skills are essential for a business leader?

I’d say humility, energy, courage, being willing to take risks, supporting your people, and learning and continuing to learn.

What are some universal truths you have learned about leadership?

A good leader is a servant. Meaning my job title is president and CEO, and I view that as my continually being willing to serve all of the people here. Some people will call me boss, and that would seem to mean that they serve me, but I almost consider myself working for all of them. I’m here to serve all of them and see to it that they have the things necessary to do their jobs well. It’s a matter of serving people and having that attitude that I’m not better than anyone else. If I help people to do something, I’m willing to do it myself. If I see something that really needs to be done, I’m willing to pitch in and do it, as well.

What is your definition of success?

I think it depends a lot on your perspective of life itself. To some people, success is the accumulation of a lot of things. To others, it might be something totally different than that. I remember a statement that Winston Churchill said, ‘Success is not final and failure is not fatal. It’s the courage to continue that counts.’ In essence, you may do something that ends up in a successful venture, but that’s not necessarily final. Maybe you start that venture and it fails, but that’s not fatal. It’s the courage to continue that defines success. The courage to continue on and follow the path that you set. There will be failures along the road, setbacks along the road, but the courage to continue is what will help define that success.