Tommy L. Hickman
SVP – Operations, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
MY GREATEST STRENGTH
My ability to anticipate issues and initiate actions to prevent problems. It is too easy to wait on problems to occur and go into corrective mode. Anticipating and preventing problems is where you can benefit your business.
My mother inspires me. She is a real example of someone that maximizes what the good Lord gave her. This to me is the best way to judge a person: How are they using the skills that they were born with?
HOW I MOTIVATE OTHERS
I try to develop the vision and paint a picture of how things could look if we are 100% successful.
I have always tithed 10% of my time and 10% of my money to community service. My wife and I are currently co-chairs of the capital campaign for Experience in Self Reliance, a local United Way Agency in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. We have raised more than $2.5 million to construct a new facility for this agency. It is under construction and will open in 2014.
The most important lesson I have learned is to be less focused functionally and more company driven. I spend as much time as I can learning about functions and departments in the company that do not report to me.
My real strength is coaching, not quarterbacking. Over the years, making this transition has yielded better results.
My advice would be to be patient and focus more on the effort at hand. It is less about the job and more about the effort. Irrespective of your job assignment, you want to be known as the difference maker. That is usually the person that anticipates and prevents problems. Not so much the person that fixes problems.