Chairman, President and CEO, Praxair
Headquarters: Danbury, Connecticut
Education: North Carolina State University, BS, civil engineering;
Loyola College, Baltimore, MBA
First Job: brick mason’s helper
What I’m Reading: Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
Best Advice: Exceed expectations.
“Effective leaders insist on diversity and inclusion. They understand that a variety of experiences and backgrounds results in an energized and productive work environment. They value the differences among us that lead to dynamic solutions and innovative changes. That is what makes good leaders.”
How Diversity Takes Us from Good to Great
For a high-performing, global company, a commitment to diversity and inclusion is not an option, it is a necessity. At Praxair, we consider diversity and inclusion table stakes. Maintaining a competitive advantage in today’s global economy requires that we hire, develop, and engage the best people. And, not just the best people from a certain segment of the population—the best people from the broadest talent pool available.
Attracting and developing the right people for our business ensures that we maintain a high-performance culture, which is so critical to our continued success. We do this by providing dynamic leadership, a challenging work environment, competitive pay and benefits, and recognition for outstanding performance. We also do this by hiring and developing the best talent.
In order to provide the greatest value to our employees, customers, shareholders and communities, we must always be willing to look beyond ourselves and those who are like us. We must become comfortable with the unfamiliar. We must encourage, appreciate, and celebrate new and diverse opinions, ideas, and talents.
And that sounds easier than it really is.
Effective leaders insist on diversity and inclusion. They understand that a variety of experiences and backgrounds results in an energized and productive work environment. They value the differences among us that lead to dynamic solutions and innovative changes. That is what makes them good and effective leaders.
There is a world of knowledge, expertise, and innovation at our fingertips, and the more we leverage it, the stronger we become. A diverse and inclusive workforce not only provides a competitive advantage, it separates the good from the great.
At Praxair, being good is never good enough. And while we will continuously raise the bar, I am proud of the commitment and focus our global team has on establishing our company as an employer of choice, maintaining a strong pipeline of future leaders, and continuing to create a global culture of inclusion.