Early in her career, Sheryl Palmer was made sales manager at Sun City West, an active adult community in Arizona. She was in charge of associates considerably older and more experienced. Although she says she “knew nothing,” Palmer was able to effectively communicate with her group and build relationships with them.
The New York Times interviewed Palmer, the CEO of Taylor Morrison, one of the nation’s largest home builders, asking how she became a leader.
Palmer said she developed a strong work ethic from a job she began working at as a teenager at McDonald’s. She makes herself approachable and authentic, and isn’t afraid to ask questions.
She values intellectual curiosity from her hires, and she loves taking prospective candidates out to eat to see how they interact in a restaurant setting. She also asks candidates how they define success.
I’m looking for a blend of leadership and business acumen, and that comes out in very real ways when you’re talking to somebody about how they live their life, their family, the things they’ve accomplished, the things they do outside of work and what really gives them energy and pride.