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Leadership – March 2, 2010

Advice from the top: Robbie Alm

photo: rae huo

Robbie Alm, executive vice president at Hawaiian Electric Co., talks about the most important things he learned from his mentors.

From his parents: 

Be grateful for the gifts you have, don’t covet the gifts of others.

From Sen. Daniel Inouye:

The way you treat the world and the way you work with others will always come back to you. I was on Inouye’s staff when the majority in the U.S. Senate went from Democrat to Republican when Reagan came in as president. I can remember the first time we had to call the new majority office to ask for something we needed for Hawaii. The staff person said, “You’re a Democrat,” and kind of laughed. Then he called me back half an hour later and said, “Your boss can have anything he wants. When your boss was in charge, he treated us with equal dignity and now that we’re in charge we’re going to make sure he’s treated that way, too.”

From Gov. George Ariyoshi:  

Don’t get overly flustered by the
moment. At the time we were in a
recession, too, but he was one of those folks who believed in planning and a much longer-range look at things. He was very cool headed. That was when I realized there could be calm if you choose it. People react to tension. So whatever intensity you have going on inside, try not to have that intensity make things around you more difficult.

From Walter Dods:

Be passionate but never close the door to new thinking or someone else’s viewpoint. Dods may not agree with a contrary view, but he keeps on processing it.  Sometimes a week later he’ll say, “I was thinking about what you said.” Now I encourage people to tell me what they think I don’t want to hear. 

20 For the Next 20: 2010

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