by Steven Hernandez

Vice President of Sales
United States Postal Service

Headquartered: Washington, D.C.
Web Site:
Primary Business: Mail delivery to 150 million homes, businesses and Post Offices.
Employees: 596,000

What is your definition of leadership? Leadership is the extraordinary talent to inspire and motivate people to achieve a greater goal. Effective leadership goes beyond the efficient management of resources and productivity to attain a target. It incorporates a higher-level ability that overlays good management processes with great people skills: listening, empathy, communication, engagement, encouragement, and coaching.

What was the defining moment in your life in which you understood your leadership? The clearest defining moment for me and for many of us at USPS was 9/11, which was closely followed by the Anthrax attacks. As I think back on it, there was clear leadership at the top that cascaded down through the whole organization. As a company, we were quick to communicate a plan that incorporated the needs of the American public, our employees, and business mailers. When the Anthrax attacks occurred on the heels of 9/11, once again our leadership organization sprang into action to quell the fears of employees and customers while making major changes to our operations. I look back at those difficult days with a sense of pride knowing my contribution to the leadership team helped stay the course during a chaotic time.

Education: M.S., Management Science, Stanford University (Sloan), Stanford, CA; MBA, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana; B.S., Petroleum Engineering, University of Texas, Austin, Texas
What I’m Reading: The Age of Turbulence, by Alan Greenspan
My Philosophy: Be an inspiration by giving your best every day…and make it fun!
Interests: Running, Biking, Reading, Music