Interview Transcript

How did your prioritize your time as CEO of a large public company?

That was probably the most difficult thing. There’s always that cliché of it’s really lonely at the top. I’ve never felt that way. I always felt I wasn’t lonely enough. You have ten board members; you’ve got an executive chairman. Well, my assistant half the time told me what to do. You’ve got everybody telling you what to do and how to prioritize it, it makes it really difficult. What I wanted to do was focus on the operation side and get things moving and get things fixed. Where I spent a lot of my time was speeches with analysts, speeches with media, speeches with investors, speeches with employees. All of which I guess you could say is important, but none of which really moves the meter in terms of performance of the business. I think that was the most difficult thing, of trying to figure out exactly where you want to spend your leadership time.

How did you approach that? Did you have a certain breakdown in your week or your day that you’d look to speak to analysts or the board or spend on operations? How did you put structures in place to deal with that?

I have to say, I’ll be honest with you, I did a poor job at that. I had 20 people telling me what to do every single day. I didn’t learn how to say not enough, which I should have done. I spent a lot of my time on those other things. Probably could have spent more time on actually managing the business itself. For new CEOs, I think you want to prioritize your goals and focus on them despite all of the other factors that are going to be bombarding you.

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