The Byham file Featured

8:00pm EDT August 26, 2007

Birthplace: Parkersburg, W.Va.

Education: Bachelor’s and master’s degrees, Ohio University; Ph.D., Purdue University

First job: Assistant to executive vice president at a New York advertising agency

Whom do you admire most in business and why?

Jack Welch. He’s full of wisdom. People with wisdom have learned from their mistakes and generalized from them.

What’s your most important business lesson?

People learn and make decisions in different ways. I learned to get along with people a lot better when I took into consideration their way of making decisions.

What are the three most important qualities that a CEO should possess?

I think they have to have some degree of personal insight so that they see how others see them because you need to be able to adapt to people. I think they have to have the gumption to stand by their beliefs. Certainly, you have to be a visionary of some kind. You can’t just be running the company from what you’ve done in the past, so you have to be open to new ideas.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I’m definitely the cheerleader type. I’m the ideator. For 10 years or more, I’ve swooped. You fly around at 10,000 feet, and you swoop down and get very involved in particular things that are going on. So you keep everyone on their toes.