Vice President, Solutions Leader

What was the defining moment in your life in which you understood your leadership? I was one of the leaders of my track team in college. I didn’t really understand what that meant until my senior year. With four weeks remaining in the season and the conference championship at stake, I came down with pneumonia, which badly affected my training.

Company: Aon Hewitt
Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois
Primary Business: Benefits Administration
Employees: 34,000

I knew my team would be counting on me returning for the conference meet so that I could contribute my share of the points in what was sure to be a battle for the title. In my mind, being a leader meant returning to the top of my game and winning my events. Despite my best effort, I did not win the events that I was expected to win. What I later discovered was that it didn’t matter whether I won or lost. It was my willingness and determination to be there for my team that gave them the motivation they needed to win without me.

How do you define leadership? A leader must have integrity. A leader must also possess vision and insight, and focus on results. True leadership does not come from having the best skills but from being able to draw the best from those around you.

What was the best advice you ever received? I had a manager once who told me people don’t care what you know until they know that you care. You have to invest the time to get to know those who are responsible for making you successful.