Maynard Webb: I’ve always been an underdog and I’ve never been willing to let anybody tell me I couldn’t do anything that I wanted to do. So I’ve always enjoyed taking on challenges that a lot of other people wanted to run away from and found a way to do them even when I was under qualified for them. I grew up in the paternalistic era of companies. I was with a very great company called IBM and a good piece of that is as long as you perform, you have a job for life, which most people don’t have anymore. And, you know, when you had babies, they would send you a silver spoon with the baby’s name on it and you have great benefits and it’s very safe and it was all about putting the company first and moving wherever they told you to go. Because as long as you did what was right for the company, everything worked. That is long gone because most companies don’t last a lifetime anymore and we’re in a much more entrepreneurial, global era where people need to move faster and things change with much more frequency. What’s cool about that is there’s a lot more opportunity, but you have to put yourself first and be in control of your own destiny because no one company can take care of you your whole career.
If you’re a great leader you always put your people first and understand where they’re intended to go and you help them grow even if it means leaving your employ. There’s not enough talent in the world. We all have openings we’d like to fill. And I think our job as executives is to make sure we grow that talent base to fill those great jobs people would like to have. I think every employee and every person needs to know where they fit and what are their unique talents and what are their unique skills. What would they love to do and they need to take a real assessment of how capable are they at this stage of their life in doing what they’d like to do. And then if that assessment doesn’t lead to a result that you’re happy with then you need to make some changes, pick up some additional skills, do something you love a little bit more to be able to get to someplace that you’re in a happier spot.