“Be authentic and always embrace your values, he said.
Humphrey, the vice president of IBM’s Chief Data Office, shared those beliefs at the beginning of his address during our November C-Suite Perspectives.
Originally from Fayetteville, Humphrey said he embraced the lessons his mom and dad taught him.
“They are the foundation of my values,” he said. “My mom was an educator and my parents told me to focus on my education.”
He did just that, graduating with an electrical engineering degree from NC State.
He recalled working jobs to pay for school, including janitorial work and construction jobs.
“I realized I’m not cut out to do very hard labor for the rest of my life,” said Humphrey.
Then, he got some great advice from his college roommate.
“He told me I needed to get some practical experience,” said Humphrey.
Humphrey was hired as a level one call taker for IBM, talking to people and helping them fix their personal computers.
He would work in various roles at IBM and Lenovo.
But, Humphrey knew something else was necessary.
“For the vision I had for myself, I knew I needed to pick up some business experience,” he said.
IBM hired him to lead the supply chain strategy. From there, he would work his way up the ladder to his current role in the Chief Data Office.
Humphrey told the C-Suite Perspectives audience about the lessons that he has learned over the years.
“It is imperative as leaders that we build diverse teams,” he said. “Diversity leads to innovation and innovative companies grow their revenue, or reduce their costs, or both.”
Humphrey added, “Engaged employees drive better client experiences which leads to better business results.”
He also encouraged the audience to remember the importance of giving back to the community. Currently, Humphrey serves on the Wake County Boys & Girls Clubs Board of Directors and on the University of North Carolina’s World View Advisory Board.
He said it is important for leaders to listen to their team members and to coach them.
“Performance has to be a mindset,” said Humphrey. “You have to have a high-performance mindset if you’re going to be a leader.”
To see more of the conversation with Humphrey, check out our official Twitter hashtag, #CSuitePers.
We want to thank Humphrey for his great insight during C-Suite Perspectives. We also want to thank those who attended and our sponsors who made an event like this possible.
Please join us for our next C-Suite Perspectives on Mar. 8 where we will hear from John Kane, the founder and CEO of Kane Realty Corporation.