The Lynch file Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2007

Age: 46

Born: Washington, D.C.

Education: Bachelor’s degree, management, University of Scranton; master’s degree, health administration, Washington University, St. Louis

What is the best business lesson you’ve learned?

When you make a mistake, apologize. I think that when employees understand you’re human, and if you make an error or do something that requires an apology and you’re willing to do it, it really levels the playing field. If you inadvertently are not as respectful as you wanted to be and you go back and apologize for that lack of respect, it shows them that you’re willing to admit when you’re not right. ... It really sends a pretty significant message.

What skills are essential for a business leader?

The No. 1 skill is integrity. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and everybody you interact with. You also have to have leadership skills, you have to be able to have people follow you. You have to be able to inspire confidence and build trust.

What are several universal truths you’ve learned about leading a business?

If you’re honest and do the right thing, things will work out.

If you tell the truth all the time, you never have to worry about what you tell somebody. Understand what your business is and why your business is there.

Followers are much easier to lead, but leading leaders gets you much further. When you lead leaders, they need to understand you are willing to let them push back. You need to allow them to suggest that the leader might not be leading in the right direction or that the leader might not be the only one with all the answers.