The Kelly file Featured

7:00pm EDT December 26, 2008

Born: Philadelphia

Education: Bachelor’s degree, economics, Santa Clara University

First job: Paperboy for the Progress-Bulletin in Claremont, Calif.


Today, they are more genteel — I am trying to learn golf, but I still do mountain climbing. I played rugby until I was 49. There is not a lot left in the body that functions properly. It was probably quite a few years past I should have been playing because you do slow down, but I loved the guys and the competition.

How do you create a strong workplace culture?

Typically, cultures don’t get established by one individual. Cultures occur by putting together teams of people who share a common objective, who share a common belief in something that is important to them. Then they bring their own individual personalities and drives to accomplish something. There’s no question the CEO will be the leader in that process or the rallying point of that team, but first and foremost, the CEO’s job is to assemble the team that is going to build the value proposition that will deliver the value to shareholders, to customers and to hire the employees, to inspire and lead them. The CEO has to be able to do that by putting together the right team.

How do you assemble a team like that?

If you pick the right players, if they’ve got the right ethics, drive, communication styles, if they have the underlying energy and belief that what they are doing is worthwhile, a healthy culture emerges.