ANDERSON — Failure is not often associated with success, but Bob Anders says his failures were invaluable.
“It’s something you can learn from,” he said.
This week Anders, 65, and other retired executives shared the secrets that helped them catapult their careers into success.
“I had some good bosses and some bad bosses and I learned a lot from the bad bosses,” he said.
Anders, who graduated with a mechanical engineering degree, ended his career as the chief operating officer of Guide Corp. He said his climb into the executive business world was not easy and he struggled with areas outside of his expertise like sales, marketing and financing.
But he never gave up.
“I became the COO in my 50s,” Anders said. "I think what you have to do is you have to exceed your boss's expectations,” he said. “I was the first guy in and the last guy out.”
One of those failures, Anders said, was to hire a friend for the wrong job.
“I hired a guy who I knew in my heart could not do the job,” he said. “He begged me to promote him and it was a really dumb move on my part.”
That mistake set the company back six months, Anders said, but 18 years later he says it is something he will never do again.
“I let my relationship with him cloud my judgment,” he said. “From then on I was more objective in my evaluation of people who applied for jobs.”
Other lessons Anders learned is there is no excuse for those who always have excuses.
“There are people who always try to minimize their time at work,” he said. “They were always late to work or they would leave early.
“If you don’t like coming to work, find another job.”