The McCourt file Featured

12:20pm EDT August 30, 2006
Born: Baltimore

Education:
Bachelor of science degree, French, Georgetown University; Juris doctor degree, University of Maryland School of Law; MBA, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

First job:
Securities lawyer in New York

What is the greatest business lesson you’ve learned?
The customer is always right, from my father [Jack Luskin], who owned appliance stores.

Whom do admire most in business and why?
I admire a lot of different people, from my father, who started from absolutely nothing and made himself a success, to someone like Warren Buffett.

I admire Buffett’s business acumen, and the latest thing he did, taking so much of what he earned in his business life and applying the exact same traits he learned in his business life to giving away his money: Invest in people who are doing things the right way. His contribution to the Gates Foundation is remarkably admirable.

McCourt on leadership skills:
Baseball teaches us how to excel as individuals and how to excel within a team framework. It teaches us how to persevere because not everything we do is going to be perfect the first time we do it.

These are identical traits we need in terms of leading a business. There’s nothing more important than persevering. I think it’s very important to constantly try, constantly improve and excel, both as an individual and with a team.

McCourt on leading a business:
The key is that integration into people’s lives, regardless of what your business does, is what you need to focus on. If you can find other people in your industry doing things similar to the way you’re doing them, and you can capitalize on the opportunities that they’ve capitalized on, it’s important to look at that.

There are all sorts of opportunities out there, and it’s just a question of thinking outside the box and being innovative.

McCourt on appealing to customers and clients:
It’s a matter of seeing what appeals to people no matter who they are or what walk of life they’re from. There is something for everybody, and you just have to figure out why it’s important to them and why they want it and try to provide it for them.