When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was a kid (say 10 years old), I wanted to be Batman. Batman was a self-made hero (barring the environmental issues like his parents being killed in front of him and that he had loads of cash). He had realistic limitations that he overcame with his intelligence, creativity, and technology. And, he lived a double life, the hero and the billionaire, and while I am neither, I often find myself living two lives, my work and the rest. I like it that way.
When did you realize that you wanted to pursue a career in learning and development?
I started off my career as a set designer, computer animator, and video editor. At one point, a few years into my work, others recognized I was great at visually explaining things. This led to me creating training videos for people operations and the rest is history.
What was a moment in your life or career that you feel helped shape your professional journey?
My professional journey has been shaped by a multitude of factors. The one that impacted me most was some advice one of my professors at the North Carolina State University School of Design gave me. Dr. Michael Pause told me, “Never let your tools limit your designs, rather, have your designs force the creation of new tools.” This became my mantra, “design for tomorrow, build for today.”
What is your favorite quote about leadership?
Karen Salmansohn once wrote, “Talk less, listen more.” It is my favorite leadership quote and one I have been trying to learn and apply for over 50 years. Everyday I get a little better. At some point I won’t have to say anything at all.
If life was a movie, who would play you?
If my life was a movie, Steve Carell (Date Night and The Office) would play me. Or at least that’s what my kids say. He is just nerdy enough, just outspoken enough, just close enough to the edge that apparently, he is like me or vice versa.