The Carbone File Featured

8:00pm EDT September 25, 2009

Born: Camden, N.J.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in economics, Rowan University

What traits or skills are essential for a business leader?

You need to be honest and an effective communicator. You need to look people in the eyes and tell them what they want to know. People don’t want a wishy-washy leader.

What is the best business lesson you’ve learned?

Don’t fall on your sword. Learn from the decisions that don’t work out and move on. Inevitably, you’re going to make a decision that is not going to be the best. But you can’t dwell on it. You have to move on.

Carbone on decision-making: If you don’t have a certain intestinal fortitude, you can never make a decision. You have to have the ability to realize that sometimes you’re going to make a wrong decision. But you have to have the confidence to know that you’re not going to make such a catastrophic decision. If you’re going to make a decision that could have potentially catastrophic effects on your business, you’re certainly not going to make that decision without input from other people. If you allow someone to make that kind of decision in the first place, that was a poor decision and you didn’t do right by them or the company.

I tell my people if they call me and I can see that they’ve done the research, they’ve gotten the input, I tell them to make the decision. Sometimes, all they’re looking for is reinforcement. That builds confidence.