My Education: BS, Economics, University of Rhode Island MBA, Southern Methodist University
My Prior Experience: I worked at American Airlines for 15 years in marketing and customer service and eight years at SimuFlite Training International, a major aviation training services company where I eventually came to be president. I was chairman afterwards of Axis Trading Corporation, a broker dealer in Dallas, Texas and I ended my career as the president, CEO and co-owner of a pediatric therapy company in Texas.
My Company: a pediatric therapy company
Job/Career Overview: As president I oversaw all activities of the organization: marketing, advertising, promotion, public relations and sales, delivering our services (operations), personnel and human relations (recruiting, health insurance and payroll administration, discipline and employee relations), finance and accounting (billing and collection, planning and budgeting, purchasing, record keeping, cash management) and management information systems (all communications and computer systems).
But my most important responsibility was to ensure that the organization recruited and retained the best people, took great care of them and identified and solved problems to make their jobs easier to accomplish. If, as president, you're successful doing this, everything else will take care of itself. Your people will be happy, customers will be happy and shareholders will be happy.
More Insights: If you're like most high school seniors and you really don't know what career to pursue, an undergraduate liberal arts degree is the best education. It will teach you how to write, speak and think. That's all you need. Then, work a couple of years followed by graduate school. If you're still unsure, an MBA degree or law degree is an asset in almost any setting. Many law graduates never actually practice law.
The best part of the job was seeing a cohesive and committed team accomplishing their objectives, resulting in positive financial performance. The worst part of the job was when the best part of the job didn't happen.
Hire the best people. This takes time and commitment. When you've recruited the wrong person, he has to go. Get rid of him as quickly and diplomatically as possible. You'll be doing yourself and him a favor.
Set measurable objectives for the organization and each individual. Track and share results. Reward outstanding performance. Correct substandard performance through training and counseling. If not corrected, individual(s) must be reassigned or replaced.
Never give up. Persistence is key.