Born: Enid, Okla. I moved to Wichita with my parents at age 3 and grew up in that city.
Education: B.A. in journalism, Wichita State University; M.S. in mass communication, Oklahoma State University
What was your first job, and what did it teach you?
At 15 years old, I worked as a busboy/dishwasher in a restaurant. During a very busy lunch rush on my first week, the owner/manager ran into the kitchen and barked to me and the two cooks, ‘Whatever you are doing, do it faster.’ One cook began cussing and the other threw his spatula down and walked out the back door. That was my first lesson about what not to do when leading people. Clearly it doesn’t help when you show disrespect to someone you need to get the job done.
What’s your definition of success?
Making a difference through your work for others the people you work with, your customers, your community.
Your workday is off to a bad start. How do you turn it around?
When I get angry or upset about something, I always respond by getting out of my office and walking around the building. Saying hello to people and having casual conversation always grounds me. I often learn something from someone that I could never learn in a meeting room full of people.
What’s the last book you read?
‘Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal.’ It is funny and, despite its title and an approach that would offend some people, a spiritual book. It was a Christmas gift from my oldest daughter, Kelsey.
Favorite quote: ‘Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not. Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. ... If I had permitted my failures, or what seemed to me at the time a lack of success to discourage me, I cannot see any way in which I ever would have made progress.’ Calvin Coolidge, 30th president of the United States