At the end the day because I believe so strongly in leadership, what I look for first, what I try to assess, is integrity.
Companies will need to pursue a more diversified business model, but I think those companies that have what I call a focused diversified business model will be more successful.
For a number of major companies, if you can’t access the commercial markets, you can’t fund your business. That’s a big problem. You can’t pay your bills.
For me, integrity is the consistency of words and actions. Part of the way that you do that is to ask people questions on some of the most difficult issues that you confront. ‘Take me through where you felt you had to compromise your values.’
For me, one of the lessons from 9/11 is that you have to give the organization context for how you’re acting, and you’ve got to communicate constantly, in this case particularly with all the changes that were occurring in the financial marketplace and in the economy.
Harvard Law provided an opportunity to learn from a faculty that had shaped the laws of our country and helped to change the world around us. It also offered an opportunity to study with the brightest students and to test myself against the best.
I had very little exposure to business growing up. I also was very focused on the Civil Rights Movement. And I saw law as a vehicle to really bring about substantial change.
I moved back to Boston and joined some of my Harvard classmates at Bain & Co. I quickly realized I enjoyed business.
I say this all the time: Everyone can make a conscious choice to be a leader.
I think what’s important to understand is if the United States hits the debt ceiling and is unable to pay its debts, the consequences will be immediate and dramatic.
I was attracted to law school because I believed it would help me prepare for a career in the real world.
I’ve always been a very competitive person.
I’ve always tried to seek out environments with excitement.
If people support independently owned small businesses in their community, they can make a difference.
Many people don’t focus enough on execution. If you make a commitment to get something done, you need to follow through on that commitment.
My message to Washington is the United States has gone through incredible crises, and our leaders have been able to find common ground. And that’s what our leaders have to do.
My message to Washington is very simple. Face reality. Be leaders. Demonstrate accountability. Engage in principle compromise. And understand your job is to find solutions.
My plans were to practice law and then possibly go into public service.
Regular feedback is one of the hardest things to drive through an organization.
Small businesses create half of the jobs in the private sector.
There are clearly some policies that need to change, and the reputation of the credit card industry is not high. Reforms need to take place.
There was a strong focus on performance and respect for people. And one of the points that my father always made was that with all the challenges and obstacles and barriers, the one thing you can control is your performance. And that is one thing I have tried to adhere to throughout my career.
What’s increasingly clear is that when you are open to a discussion of leadership, and you’re relating it to your company, it is much easier to get people to become open.
You’ve got to develop relationships. You can’t do things just in a formal context.