Senior Vice President and General Manager, BestBuy.com
Who is/was your most influential leadership mentor and why? Dick Gray, my manager at General Electric Company, was the “king of accountability” and believed that integrity was what you did when no one was watching. Therefore, being a self-starter, anticipating issues, and developing alternatives were lessons I learned early, and lessons that I’ve never forgotten.
Who in your family had the most impact on your success? My mother taught me not to be afraid of hard work and that if you truly explore options, you will always find a path worth paving. I took my first job at the age of 14 and quickly began to recognize the impact that those around me had on my life. It was during this time that I realized the importance of developing my personal brand identity in a way that demonstrated consistency and personal integrity.
Headquarters: Richfield, Minnesota
Web site: www.bestbuy.com
Primary Business: Consumer electronics
Employees: 155,000 worldwide
What is your definition of leadership? Along with a focus on hard work and integrity, the definition of leadership embodies both an ability to ask great questions and a willingness to embrace input as a patient and thoughtful listener. This act of leadership is never-ending, and the journey it requires must be taken as a marathon and not a sprint. Positions of leadership come with an enormous set of responsibilities, and deeply rooted in that responsibility is an affirmative obligation to put the interest of the enterprise, its shareholders, and the constituents you serve front and center.
This requires you to look beyond merely what’s in front of you, but to future opportunities, strategically sorting priorities and pushing forward as a progressive thinker. Great leaders not only have a genuine passion to achieve, but also an understanding of the personal sacrifices that sometimes come with that passion. No one can be molded into a leader absent of their own personal drive to succeed, so being prepared for opportunities and recognizing them as they appear becomes a key component to becoming a successful leader. Owning and protecting your personal brand displays to those around you that you are strong enough to stand in the face of adversity, stick to your convictions and focus on engaging others toward results.