Q. What were your early influences?
A. I was the fourth of five kids, and I learned that you have to fight for everything, including dinner. Once the food was on the table, if you didn’t dive in, you were going to go hungry.
My mom was always a stay-at-home mom and was the ultimate optimist about what we could be, and how smart we were, and how good-looking we were, and how we were always the best. Hearing that drumbeat in your brain for years gives you a certain confidence as you go out into the world.
My dad was a serial entrepreneur, and he always bootstrapped his companies. The family finances and the business finances were kind of one. Every single summer as I was growing up, I worked at his companies.
Some of the best lessons I’ve learned came from my father, in terms of the way he treated his employees. On the day before Thanksgiving, we’d load up his station wagon with frozen turkeys, and we would deliver them to each one of his employees.
How else have your parents influenced your leadership style?
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