Final Word – What qualities are needed to succeed as a businessperson in your field?

Ed Budds
By Ed Budds  - Junior Editor

We asked four contributing business leaders – What qualities are needed to succeed as a businessperson in your field?

Tad Bohannon, CEO, Central Arkansas Water

“It all depends on your definition of success. I consider CAW successful if it meets the needs of today without unduly burdening tomorrow. To me, that means CAW must perform today and prepare for tomorrow at the same time. Our view must always be to the future.

“Leaders today must be visionary, creative, strategic, and driven. Most importantly, leaders in the water industry today must be secure in themselves and their positions. If leaders are worried about losing their jobs they will never be able to do their jobs.”

Mike Hough, CEO, GAT Airline Ground Support Inc

“The most important trait you must have to truly be successful is a high degree of character. There are lots of ways to win RFPs, placate your customers, deceive your team, or make your results look better than they are. Those strategies can work in the short run but will always wash out in the long run.” 

Larry Blue, CEO, Bell and Howell, LLC

“The answer is flexibility. Things are changing so fast – technology, COVID-19, training levels of the people, types of skills – it’s all moving at light speed. If you as a leader aren’t on top of it and understanding what’s happening and have the flexibility to adapt to that in your decisions, you’re going to get left behind.” 

Luca Jacobellis, President, 1Path

“Being a long-term successful leader in my eyes requires two areas of focus, firstly on how the organization is set up for long term success. I often reflect on whether the decisions the leadership team make are going to serve the company well in the long run or the short run. If the answer is the long run, then I am doing my job.

“The second area of focus is on how I am serving and supporting the people in our organization. When a leader makes things about themselves, the outcome at best results in a poor culture, and at worst a toxic one. When we focus on supporting our people, the outcomes can be amazing.”

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