Born: Flint, Mich.
Education: UCLA, bachelor’s degree, economics
What is one great business lesson you’ve learned?
Obviously, you’re always going to hire competent people, but you can hire people who may not be superstars, and if you get them in the right environment with the right culture and the right systems and the right chemistry, they can do phenomenal things.
What’s the best business advice you’ve received?
Certainly not the kind I’ve paid for. I have a healthy disdain for consultants. The guys who get to do the theory and not the practice I don’t have a lot of time, energy or patience for them.
Personally, I never really had a mentor because I never could really respect the people I was reporting to because they just didn’t work that hard.
The business advice that I get is from the reading that I’ve done. I’ve read everybody’s biography from J.P. Morgan to Rockefeller to Alexander Hamilton you name it. It’s very experiential life stories that give me the business advice. Things like ‘Take the prudent risk, don’t shy away from responsibility, do the right things for the right reasons.’ I can’t say I’ve had any one pearl of wisdom dropped in my lap that caused me to say, ‘Oh, that’s it. A revelation. Now, I know what to do.’ I haven’t had that a-ha moment.