I’m a firm believer that to lead you must first learn how to follow and to be a successful follower, you must be willing to learn, push the limits of your comfort zone and of course be following a great leader. Along with a group of other AT&T summer interns, I had the wonderful experience of sitting in on a question and answer conference with two AT&T senior leaders, Mr. John Stankey and Mr. Xavier Williams. As you can imagine us interns were licking our chops with the opportunity to bombard them with questions. Two hours later the questions were still being spit out and the knowledge was being spread around. Out of all the advice given out I took one piece near and dear to my heart. Mr. Williams made the point that he didn’t get to where he was without “failing fast and learning from it”. This hits home because if you failed that means you tried, you stepped outside of your comfort zone, and you want more! Having a mind to mind conversation with these two just makes me want to work even harder to get where I want to be.
John Stankey, President and CEO, AT&T Business Solutions, is responsible for AT&T’s sales, marketing and customer service operations for retail business, government and wholesale customers of AT&T worldwide. He also leads research and development, architecture and planning, engineering, network operations, information technology and corporate shared services.