President, Global Wholesale
Who is/was your most influential leadership mentor and why? I’ve been fortunate to have been mentored by some very successful and influential business leaders. However, my leadership journey was stimulated long ago by my mother, and a man named Harlan Jones. My mother always affirmed my capacity to do more than I thought possible; I never wanted to let her down. Harlan shared a simple but profound truth with me. “You will go far in life once you learn to get out of your comfort zone.” To this day, I don’t set limits on my capacity to be successful in whatever I do. I embrace and step into my learning zone every day.
What is your definition of leadership? I boil it down to what I call the 4 Cs: Courage, Confidence, Collaboration, and Credibility. The Courage to stand and move forward regardless of circumstances; Confidence in your ability to create and leverage a vision that your team can embrace and see their success in that space; recognizing that true success comes from Collaboration with others; and the Credibility you earn by consistently demonstrating the ability to make the tough decisions, while exercising humility and
compassion when needed.
Headquarters: New York City
Web site: www.verizon.com
Primary Business: Providing voice, data, and entertaining services
What advice can you provide for young leaders? My advice is to start by dreaming big, a goal that’s worthy of your best efforts. Next, learn how to influence decisions and business direction. Embrace assignments that are foreign to your background; they enhance the breadth and depth of your experience set. And remember, integrity is your true currency. Without it you lose your bearings and, ultimately, your credibility.
What are the personal and/or professional sacrifices to being a leader? Finding ways to effectively manage family and work commitments means constantly shifting and juggling priorities. I always share with folks that you have to be comfortable with who you are, identifying your priorities and sticking to them.
What was the defining moment in your life in which you understood your leadership? I was heading the FIOS initiative in Fort Wayne, Indiana. That commitment required that our sales and volunteer teams go door-to-door to introduce our service and sign up new customers. I decided to lead the team in that effort. With the temperature hovering around 15 degrees, about 100 of us went out and had a very successful day signing up new FIOS customers. It affirmed my earlier lessons in leadership and the power and capacity of diversity.