This interview with Brad Smith, chief executive ofIntuit, the software company, was conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant.
Q. When you were young, were you in leadership roles or doing entrepreneurial things?
A. I was in martial arts starting at the age of 14, and I got my black belt by the time I was 18. Soon after, I was teaching an entire school, with about 150 students. It was unbelievably intense because of the self-awareness part of becoming a black belt.
At that point, you know nothing, and that’s where your journey begins. At the same time, you get measured on the progress of the students you’re teaching. It’s no longer about your own abilities; it’s about building the capability in others. I fall back on that to this day, realizing there’s a lot to learn, and also recognizing that success is creating the environment where people can be their best selves and continue to grow and develop.
Tell me about your parents.