The Congdon file Featured

8:00pm EDT July 26, 2010

Born: Los Angeles

Education: Graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles with a degree in political science with an emphasis in American constitutional law and international relations

What was your first job, and what did you learn from it?

My first job was at Procter & Gamble, and I learned that I’m not made for big corporations. I like a more entrepreneurial atmosphere. I respected them a lot; they are big believers in brand, and so am I.

I also learned that good people will hang around if you compensate them well. Procter & Gamble was pretty generous with their benefits and we stick true to our benefits. We’re one of the few companies that still has a matching 401(k) and covers 100 percent of the health insurance for all of our employees.

Whom do you admire most and why?

That’s Nelson Mandela and the reason is if there’s anybody that could have been driven for the basic human instinct for revenge, it would have been him. But the fact that he was able to rise above it was an indicator of his greatness, and from that came greatness: what he was able to achieve in his country. It’s just unbelievable, I mean, infinitely impressive to me, that amount of character that it took for him to do that.

What’s your definition of success?

Waking up and being excited about the day that’s in front of you; that’s a day-to-day success. Not everybody can do that. So I feel like I’m successful on a day-by-day basis if I’m looking forward to my day.

Your workday is off to a bad start. How do you turn it around?

Take your list of things to do and immediately tackle the one that you’re least looking forward to. It’s usually smaller than you think it is and clears the path for the rest of your day because you’ve got something out of the way.