Editor’s Note: Leadership can mean different things to different people. Valley Business Report turns to experienced business leaders in the Rio Grande Valley to learn more about their views on leadership in their own words. Through a question-and-answer format, Leadership Matters presents comments on leadership from Valley CEOs and other business leaders.
Paul R. Rodriguez is president and CEO of Valley Land Title Company, which provides title insurance products and services to facilitate real estate transactions. With offices in McAllen, Mission, Edinburg and Weslaco, the company has a staff with more than 250 years of combined experience in all aspects of the title industry, including abstractors, title examiners, tax personnel, escrow officers, real estate attorneys and support staff.
VBR: What are the most important decisions you make as a leader of your organization?
Rodriguez: The most important decisions any leader makes about their organization is the employment of the right people for the job. Your primary managers should be at least as knowledgeable about your work as you are and hopefully know more. Above all, you need people with a positive attitude that are enthusiastic about what they do.
VBR: What leadership strategy is most useful to you in growing your business?
Rodriguez: The most important strategy for growing your business is to provide a service and/or product that meets your customers’ needs and to achieve awareness in the market of its quality.
VBR: As a business leader, what are you most proud of?
Rodriguez: I am most proud of providing a service and product our clients need and provides them with a sense of security.
VBR: What is your greatest frustration as a business leader?
Rodriguez: My greatest frustration as a business leader is the growing risk of our digital age. The propensity for an individual or group of individuals to inflict monetary or systemic damage on a company’s day-to-day operation is disconcerting. That requires maintaining technological defenses and constant awareness by every employee of the risks we face.
VBR: What do you see as the biggest challenges facing business leaders today?
Rodriguez: The biggest challenges facing business leaders are maintaining a quality employee base and keeping abreast of the latest technological advances in your industry. At the same time, you have to remaining relevant and connected to a customer base that is evolving so quickly in so many ways.
VBR: What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?
Rodriguez: My advice to anyone assuming a leadership role for the first time is to lead by example. Don’t ask anyone to do something you wouldn’t do and remember that your subordinates are always watching and listening to what you do and say.