What’s the best part of your job?
I absolutely love interacting with people smarter than me on a myriad of issues even if they don’t directly or immediately apply to my business. Fortunately for me, both internally and externally, I have a surrounding cast—that I grow every opportunity I can—that is always intelligently challenging the status quo and pushing for better. I had interactions in AI and machine learning years ago that percolated in me for years and finally became a ground-breaking innovation at retail for us last year. I love that stuff.
What inspires your leadership approach?
My dad is the Dalai Lama of a few soundbites that will long outlive him (and we have all heard them 5,000 times): “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts” is high up on his list of gems. From this I personally attempt to and encourage my teammates and team to keep learning. Never delude yourself into the complacency of thinking you have anything mastered.
What do you cherish most about being a part of the industry?
It sounds too cliche but I’m going to go there anyway. I have friends in my industry that have been instrumental to my journey for 30 years. I have friends in other industries that I have known, learned from and respect greatly for much of that time as well. Building those connections (while solving some problems and selling some magazines) are what is life giving. I believe that anyone who gets “lost” only in the business (which I was early in my managerial days) at the expense of the connections has seriously limited the joy and benefits that will endure.