One looking inward is that the biggest stress in life is having things on your to-do list that you never accomplish, so to me a good day is setting out to accomplish three or four things on my to-do list. I have a long-term to-do list and a short-term to-do list, and if I get to one on the long-term list and one on the short-term list, that's a good day. There are often distractions, so I try to spend time reflecting at the beginning of the day on what I need to accomplish and at the end of the day on what did I accomplish.
And looking outward another good day for me is watching the people who work with me shine, whether it's as simple as making a presentation at a meeting or announcing a customer win, I think it's important to share in other people's success. I think it's a good day when people around you are feeling accomplished.
5. How would you characterize your management style?
Again, I think for me, it's making sure that someone understands what they're supposed to do and giving them all the tools, whether it be a computer or information or training, it really is allowing people to do their jobs.
To me, your job is like an interview -- you're almost every day conducting an interview, asking "am I the right person for this job?" I make sure I'm supporting people and giving them all they need so they can't say, "You didn't tell me something or you didn't give me the tools to do something, so I can't do what I need to do." I give them what they need and get out of the way and let people do their job.
6. What strengths and qualities do you look for in job candidates?
Having made many, many mistakes in hiring people and watching the lessons learned, I think for me it comes down to what I'll call intellectual curiosity. You really want to hire someone who is intellectually curious, who has a willingness and a desire to ask questions, who is not afraid to ask questions, who is not afraid to change the status quo. To me, that is the single biggest factor.
You're not a robot, you're not a machine. Associates should be able to challenge and ask questions and be curious. I think that's the single biggest quality -- certainly also I look for honesty and integrity and all of those things that are givens, but to me that one -- intellectual curiosity -- stands above all.
7. What are some of your favorite interview questions or techniques to elicit information to determine whether a candidate will be successful at your company? What sort of answers send up red flags for you and make you think a job candidate wouldn't be a good fit?
One of the first questions I always ask early on is, "have you fired someone?" It shows a willingness to challenge the status quo and to make changes whenever changes need to be made. I think that's important. There's some shock value when I ask that question. People will say, "why did you ask that?"