‘Best Advice I Ever Got’ Series 20 - Brian Roberts, CEO - Comcast

15 02 2007

“My mentor is my father, Ralph, who turns 85 this month. When I wanted to start my Comcast career at corporate headquarters, my father wisely insisted that I learn the business from the field, even though that isn’t the way he started. brian roberts ceo comcastOne of my first summer jobs in college was as a cable installer in New Kensington, Pa., near

“Let others take the credit.” Brian Roberts, 45, CEO of Comcast

Pittsburgh. I struggled to climb the telephone poles, strung cable, and went into people’s homes to wire them. I really learned the ropes from people at the system level. That experience drove home how important our technicians and customer service representatives are, and how dangerous some of those jobs are at times. That empathy and understanding was something Ralph knew couldn’t be taught in corporate headquarters.

“Ralph is a great listener. He doesn’t feel the need to direct the conversation. Usually, when you come in, there’s the problem and then there’s the real problem; there’s the agenda, and there’s the hidden agenda. Just by listening and asking questions, he lets you get to the heart of the issue that you are chewing on. He’s not looking to take credit for anybody’s work. In fact, the single best piece of advice Ralph ever gave me was to let others take the credit. ‘You’re in a lucky position, and you know it,’ he told me. ‘You don’t need all the glory. If you let others take the credit, it makes them feel like they’re part of something special.’ He’s right. That’s just the way Ralph is with me, and that’s the way I try to be with others.”

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