The Morel file Featured

8:15am EDT July 29, 2006
Age: 48

Born: Richmond, Va.

Bachelor’s degree in engineering, Lafayette College; master’s and Ph.D., Cornell University

First job: Engineer

What is the first lesson a CEO needs to learn?
You don’t have all the answers. Believe me, you don’t.

What is the best business lesson you’ve learned?
Probably from my predecessor, Bill Little. He taught me to always do the right thing. Always do what’s best for your business and for the customer.

What is the one thing you can’t stand as a business leader?
Probably as far as public companies go, it’s the constant short-term focus. You build value in a business over time.

What qualities does a successful business leader need?
You have to be able to listen and develop the softer skills in managing people and identifying talent. You also have to be willing to let people make mistakes and trust people to do the right thing.

It helps employee morale if they see a little bit of humility from the CEO.