Posted by: Brandon W. Jones | May 12, 2010

CEO Interview

Recently I had the opportunity to interview the CEO of a major company.  Some of his answers were very insightful so I thought I would share them.  Because I did not ask his permission to put his answers on my blog, I will not say who it is that I interviewed.  I interviewed him for an MBA management class that I just finished taking.


1.  What is your educational background?

B.S. Accounting

Certified Public Accountant

2.  What is your personal definition of success?

For me, success is a journey.  I believe you need to determine what it is that makes you want to get up in the morning and then do everything possible to become the best you can be at doing it.  While making money may be a part of it, I believe you have to determine what you are going to do with the money when you get it.  I believe I am successful if I am happy and I’m making a difference in my chosen career and in the lives of others.  I am aware of and appreciate the many individuals that have helped me along the way towards any success I have achieved.

3.  Do you encourage people to earn an education beyond an undergraduate degree?  If so, what opportunities do you see available for people with higher education?

I definitely am a proponent of education.  Before one embarks on an educational pursuit, I would advise that person to survey the possible options there might be at Southwest Gas or other companies.  At Southwest Gas, we have a track record of promoting from within.  First, I would ask what you want to do.  Once that person gets a clearer picture of what that is, I would then recommend that he or she seek out a few people in the organization that are working in that area.  People need to know what it is that you want to do.  By asking questions about their work, and determining their recommendations for additional education, I believe you can make an informed decision.  It may take some patience, but if you do your homework, set a goal, and obtain the education and training you need you will likely find what you are looking for.

4.  What are the three most important attributes you have tried to obtain and exemplify in your career?

Integrity: Doing what you say you will do when you said you would do it.  Being honest and dependable.

Hard work:  There simply is no substitute for this.  By paying a price, you can succeed.  I always have looked for opportunities to do something that is hard and new to me so I stretch my capabilities.

Humility:  I believe there is no room for arrogance.  No on succeeds without help from others along the way.  One should be quick to acknowledge the assistance of others and give credit where credit is due.  I believe when I help someone else succeed, it always comes back in a big way.

5.  What does it take to be a good leader?

I believe a good leader must have a crystal clear vision of the direction he or she is headed.  A good leader asks lots of questions and listens.  With that input, he or she can make good decisions along the way.  Again, a leader has integrity, out works everyone else and is profoundly appreciative for the efforts of those he or she is leading.

6.  What would your advice be to a brand new employee who wants to reach your position?

I would first want to know why the person wants to do what I do.  Does he or she understand everything that is involved?  I can’t say that I began my career with the goal of being the CEO of a natural gas distribution utility.  Rather, I pursued a background that would give me options.  I knew I wanted to be in management, and I pursued a background in accounting and business that would open as many doors as possible.



  1. Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!

    Christian, Satellite Direct Tv

    • Thank you so much for the wonderful compliment. I am now back to posting regularly.

  2. Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!


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