In the Nation's Interest

2017 Awards Dinner Spotlight: Bob Carrigan

by CED August 04, 2017

Bob Carrigan is Chairman and CEO of Dun & Bradstreet. You can view his bio here. At CED's 2017 Awards Dinner, he will introduce Sandra Peterson, Group Worldwide Chairman of Johnson & Johnson. 

What advice do you have for those who aspire to careers in leadership, or have just started to serve in a leadership capacity?

Work is a big part of life, so try to find work that overlaps with your interest.  For me, it is at the intersection of technology and data.  I am not saying to follow your hobby …. work is work, but having it be of interest to stimulate your curiosity makes it that much more special.  It’s important to fuel that curiosity with meaningful experiences, be it taking on a new role, or living in a different city. 

Which aspects of business leadership attracted you to aspire to become a CEO?

People leadership is an area that is very important to me. I practice servant leadership and it influences all of my interactions with team members. This is a mindset that I have utilized throughout my career. I focus on upending the traditional leadership pyramid by empowering my employees. Through this approach, I can unlock tremendous passion in the organization and give all team members a sense of ownership of the strategy.

Business transformation is another aspect of leadership that has always been attractive and exciting to me. In the beginning of my career, in the publishing industry, focusing on the move from print to digital. I enjoy creating a vision and strategy around transformation and bringing different parts of the organization together. Leading a company with a transformation strategy and figuring out how to build teams around that strategy is something that really drives me, and keeping in mind the evolving market and the evolving needs of the customer.

What was the best advice you received in your business career?

I learned so much from Pat McGovern, founder of IDG, while I worked for him. He brought a personal touch to everything.  He was a cultural visionary, not just a technology and media visionary. He taught me about the importance of engaging with employees to activate them to do their best work. I make it a priority to connect with employees frequently, often writing personal notes to employees to thank them for their work, calling them to celebrate milestone anniversaries and meeting with them to talk about how we better serve customers. Every day, I continue to be amazed by the outstanding talent, tremendous energy and genuine care that fill our workspaces. Putting people first is very important to me and it establishes tremendous culture.

Has your company spearheaded a philanthropic initiative that you would like to share with CED's members?

At Dun & Bradstreet, growing valuable relationships with the community-at-large sits at the heart of our company values to be data inspired, relentlessly curious and inherently generous. In celebration of our company anniversary on July 20, we started Do Good Week, an annual week of giving, to contribute to the communities where we live and work. Since 2015, over 6,000 Dun & Bradstreet employees have volunteered more than 23,000 hours to connect with and support the people and organizations that make a difference in the lives of others around the globe.