Before Randy Nelson, 53, co-founded and ran two big companies (Orion International and NSTAR Global Services), he spent six years in the U.S. Navy, including serving as an officer on a nuclear submarine.
He’s now an entrepreneur and coach in Clayton, N.C., and author of The Second Decision. He advises entrepreneurs in areas such as evaluating risk and advancing from startup phase to growing the organization.
EL: What’s the biggest business lesson you learned from your Navy career?
Nelson: I was young and had 20 to 25 people working for me. The first lesson I learned was as an officer, I had a title. But you still have to earn the respect of your people. You have to understand that they’re great people who also need to respect you. You can’t just bark orders.
EL: How did you earn their respect?
Nelson: You have to have the support of the people inside your division. There’s a great quote, “The job of a leader is to grow you...(register to read more)