Most Admired CEO Awards: Brian King

March 30, 2018

You have been named one of Charlotte’s Most Admired CEOs of 2018. What are the keys to CEOs building a high level of trust in an organization?

The only way for CEOs or business leaders to build a culture of trust is to be fully trustworthy themselves. The moment a leader demonstrates an inability to be trusted by others, he/she is damaged from a trust perspective, often irreparably. Once CEOs have established trust, they must be diligent in removing anyone that cannot be trusted from a leadership position within the organization.

 Please tell us what leadership and being a leader means to you.

I am a strong believer in the concept of servant leadership; therefore, I believe leaders have an obligation to provide those around them with a level of empowerment and the resources they need to achieve their goals and purpose. I also believe leaders must be able to provide a level of competent guidance and support and must be prepared to make decisions and take actions that are often difficult and may offer limited or no guarantee of success. Finally, leaders must always understand that successful leadership will ultimately require hard work and personal sacrifice.  

 Who is a favorite leader you admire, and why?

I hesitate to name a favorite leader, but there are a number of people who are presently showing great leadership. Bill Gates is using his personal fortune to change the world. Oprah Winfrey uses her platform and excellent communication skills to inspire others. Jeff Bezos and Howard Shultz used innovation and customer focus to create businesses that have touched millions of people every day in a positive manner.

 Please explain how you and your organization make tough decisions.

With honesty and by being true to who we are as an organization. We take into account all aspects of a situation, including both the business and personal impacts, and then make the decision and move on.

 Please give some details about one of your top accomplishments of the past year that you are most proud of.

Anytime I am able to support someone in any way that is meaningful to him/her, on a very personal level, is very impactful to me. I am not the type of person who dwells upon or announces my accomplishments, but I know what they are and find great satisfaction in them.

How is your organization changing or adapting to prepare for the future?

Every day we talk about the future, and as both the owner and CEO of my company one of my primary roles is guiding the company through this uncertainty. We focus heavily on strategic planning, working to understand our markets and our industry, how it continues to evolve, and the impact upon us as an organization. Then we take the required actions to ensure we continually grow, develop and adapt as we believe necessary. With all that said, however, we remain true to our culture, our beliefs and how we conduct our business. And we don’t make knee-jerk reactions to the noise all around us.

 What top piece of advice would you share with other CEOs?

Always do the right thing. This is the same piece of advice I give to the hundreds of college students I speak to every year. It doesn’t matter if you are just starting your career or leading a billion-dollar company, it’s equally important.

 What is one of the best books you’ve read recently, and why?

Every young person that joins our company receives from me a copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People because if you’re only going to read one business book, that’s the one to read. For the more seasoned business leader, read Good to Great. Both of these are older, and some would say dated, books. Trust me, they are still extremely relevant today.

Link to article: https://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/news/2018/03/30/most-admired-ceo-awards-brian-king-a-m-king.html

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