George Barrett ’73 — chairman and CEO of Cardinal Health, a Fortune 100 company — is the subject of today’s “Corner Office” interview in the New York Times Sunday Business section.
And the 1st thing he talks about is Staples soccer.
Asked to describe “some important leadership lessons,” the former Staples and Brown University star says:
I had an injury going into my senior year of high school that required major surgery, and it caused me to miss my senior soccer season. Almost every college recruiter dropped off the map. Sports had been at the center of my life, and this was my first big setback. It was a real test of my resilience. I recovered and went on to play college soccer, but a reinjury during my junior season in college ended my athletic career.
I was sort of bitter for a while, which is not really in my nature. I think I blamed my coach for a lot of things, when in fact this was really about me and my injury. I had to deal with it, and I had to move on.
I came out of it with a different perspective, and I discovered that I had other talents that maybe I could dig more deeply into. I was able to explore my passion for music, which actually led me to pursue a professional music career for a while. So I found that there was another side of me.
George has had a varied career. He has also served as CEO of Teva North America, but also taught and coached soccer at Horace Mann School in New York.
George earned his MBA at New York University. He is a member of the board of visitors at the Owen School of Business at Vanderbilt University, and Project Restore at John Hopkins School of Medicine.
To read more of the Times interview — including what he learned about running a company at age 34; what he looks for when hiring; career advice, and his philosophy of leadership — click here.