He remembers growing up on Long Island, when his father would take him to see the World Trade Center being built.
De May also remembers what his father told him.
“My dad told me whatever job you have, do it the best way that you can because the cream always rises to the top,” he said.
His father’s lessons helped shape the leader that he has become as the North Carolina president of Duke Energy.
“My father taught me open mindedness,” said De May. “He craved the viewpoints of others.”
De May spoke at our May C-Suite Perspectives at the Embassy Suites Raleigh-Durham/Research Triangle.
He moved to North Carolina nearly four decades ago when he arrived as a student at UNC-Chapel Hill.
“I never moved back to New York,” said De May.
He and his wife bought their first house in Raleigh and got their first jobs in Raleigh, as well.
“It was our launching pad,” said De May.
As he worked his way up the corporate ladder at Duke Energy, De May always sought out different perspectives and possibilities. After all, that is what his father had told him all those years ago.
He completed an advanced management program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The program made De May realize that successful leaders should “take comfort in their own style.”
“Look for attributes that are admirable from other leaders, but realize that you can have your own style,” he said.
De May said he realized his purpose was to help the individuals in his care achieve their objectives and to navigate them to success.
“It’s how can I help the team around me be the most successful,” he said. “Hire good people, make them accountable, and make them better. Invest in people. Invest in their development.”
We want to thank De May for sharing his valuable insight and perspectives with us. You can check out more of the conversation with De May through our official Twitter hashtag for C-Suite Perspectives, #CSuitePers.
Thank you, also, to all of the sponsors of C-Suite Perspectives. Without your support and partnership, this series would not be possible.
Be sure to mark June 21 on your calendar for our next C-Suite Perspectives. There, you will hear from Tom Greco, the president and chief executive officer of Advance Auto Parts. In November 2018, Advance Auto Parts announced it would be moving its corporate headquarters to Raleigh, bringing 435 new jobs and marking the first Fortune 500 company to call Wake County home. We’re excited to have Greco share his perspectives with us.