Interview with Businessman Jim D.

April 22, 2008
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Jim D. is 46 Years old and works at a company called CCC. I interviewed him to learn more about his company and business in general.

1. Why did you choose to work at CCC? I was living in and working for DuPont in Pennsylvania but looking to take an early retirement package. I was newly married and my wife wanted to live in Chicagoland near her home town of Glen Ellyn. I interviewed and receive job offers at Molex and CCC. I chose CCC because of it rapid growth and for its youthful employee base. I also wanted to work with CCC because information services had a higher profit margin as opposed to the low margin electronic hardware business Molex was in.

2. How did you come to receive the job that you have now? My company adjusted its organizational structure and I possessed the best experience and talent to fill the newly created position. It was a general managers position and I had experience in research & development, sales, product management and operations. I also had senior management experience in product management and sales.

3. What is the favorite part of your job? I get great satisfaction in seeing employee succeed. It usually means we have recruited or chosen the right person for the job. Then we have given them clear direction, appropriate training, and good tools. My role is to provide my organization the right strategy and capability to succeed in our business.

4. What is the least favorite part of your job? Firing people.

5. If you could change one thing about your career what would it be? Upon inheriting a product management group, I chose to incrementally improve a clearly under performing organization. Many people were asked to perform tasks they were ready and capable of doing. I should have introduced a more radical change that involved recruiting a mostly new team and moving out the old team.

6. What sort of skill set do you need for your job? The set I would chose in no particular order is good business sense, leadership with strong interpersonal skills, strategic thinking, industry and technical knowledge. A general manager is responsible for setting the strategic direction of a business to drive the business progress promised to the owners of the business. With the direction set, the general manager must make sure the organization executes to the strategic direction along operating plans and budgets. This involves making sure every function in the business is working on the right things every day. It involves making sure the employees compensation and recognition supports the business. Finally, the general manager needs to be a good communicator outside the organization so the business owners will invest and customers will buy.

7. What caused you to become interested in what you do? Upon entering DuPont after college, I examined different areas of the company. At my annual review with my boss, I stated that my overall career goal was to become the general manager of a business. I wanted to be in the middle of making a business successful and to be part of creating something that created jobs.

8. What would you tell someone who is interested in entering business? I would ask them to self examine why they want to be in business. If the reason is to make money so I can have fun, I would say you are on the wrong track. You will probably spend more time working in business that having fun. Find another reason you honestly want to enter business and use that as your guiding principle for starting.
The second thing I would tell someone is to find people you enjoy working with. People who share your values, that you trust respect, that you can learn from will all help you enjoy business more than anything else. Even if you are a single employee business you will still at least have customers who you need to enjoy working with.





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