Born: Trenton, N.J.
Education: Degree in education from West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Early jobs: I delivered papers as a first job. That was a great opportunity for a first step. Kids today often don’t have that first step. I also worked my way through college cleaning floors, and I was in the Navy, serving on a destroyer as an enlisted man. When you work in various fields early on, you get a great perspective on different types of people.
What is the best business lesson you’ve learned?
Be a good listener. Realize that you’re not going to have all of the answers all of the time. We’re taught from a very early age to expect to have an answer for every question you ask. But I think you have to break away and realize that success is built around delegation and having a strong team around you. There is no harm in saying you don’t know something.
What universal truth have you learned about leadership?
You need to build trust. It’s hard to describe, but it comes down to people trusting in you. That is a function of being accessible and transparent. You do need to have success as a leader, but sometimes people seem to think the success comes before the trust. You need the trust first, and then success begins to unfold.
What is your definition of success?
To take ownership of the success of your people. That is the element I enjoy looking at in any relationship within an organization I’ve led. I want to see where those people have gone and how they’ve grown.