A good day is also anytime you have the opportunity to see and experience a new business insight. Sometimes that means you've got to get out of the office and make a business trip. I haven't ever come back from a business trip feeling like I would have been better off staying behind my desk. Along the way, you could pick up one, two, three great insights, facts, observations that wouldn't percolate up to you if you were just in the office. Things can get stale and the way to cure that is to spend two or three days out there with our sales staff.
5. How would you characterize your management style?
I believe it's open. I like to get people involved. I like to give people an assignment and then let them run with it. I'll follow up, I'll delegate, but I'd say it's a fairly open management style. I'm a good listener, but at the same time I do have a strong bias towards action. You can study things and contemplate, but really you need to get out there and take some actions and that's important. I think that's one of the things we do well here. We don't have a lot of hierarchy and bureaucracy so we are able to get some actions going and moving along.
I take an interest in developing people. I do take some special pride in how I've been able to develop junior managers and see them progress, give them enough to stretch them but not to break them and make sure they know that I'm not putting them in there to fail, I'm putting them in there because I've got confidence in them. At the same time, I'm just a phone call away and I also pick up the phone and call them. I'm a people person.
I use staff meetings as a good way of also making sure that my direct reports are communicating with each other. It's just as important to manage across and manage down as it is to manage up. Staff meetings are an opportunity to share. I think people feel good that they're plugged in that way.
6. What strengths and qualities do you look for in job candidates?
I look for a few things right off. One of them is, does the person exhibit an inner confidence, because that's going to give me some comfort in their ability to make decisions. I try to measure for just how resourceful they are -- you could use the word creative.
I also am looking for whether an individual sees the broader picture. I don't want somebody whose world is black and white. I think we all start off our careers with a lot of black and white, and the older we get and the more experience we get is when we realize there's a lot of gray out there. That's part of maturity and aging and experience.