An Ex-Trucker’s Great Example

| December 11, 2008

Recent news out of Washington, D.C., reminds me of something we all can stand to be reminded of as the new year starts: Do your best, wherever you are.

I’m referring to President Bush’s nominee for commerce secretary, former truck driver Carlos Gutierrez. He came to our country at age 6, a Cuban refugee.

His family later settled in Mexico City, where Gutierrez took his first job for Kellogg’s, delivering Frosted Flakes to stores.

“I started selling cereal out of a van in Mexico City,” Gutierrez says. He moved up to running Mexico’s sales and marketing. By 2000, Gutierrez was Kellogg’s chairman and chief executive officer.

“At every stage of this remarkable story, Carlos motivated others with his energy and optimism and impressed others with his decency,” says President Bush, who has been friends with Gutierrez for 30 years.

Granted, becoming a corporate officer or serving in public office might not fit into your career plans. But maybe you want to make the risky move from a leased operation to an independent one. Maybe you hope to add a truck or two one day. Maybe you see yourself running a small fleet, eventually coming off the road to spend more time at home.

Whatever your dream is, its achievement starts by doing well with your current responsibilities and building relationships with other achievers. That’s what Carlos Gutierrez did. It’s taken him on a long haul that you could describe with the same word Tony the Tiger uses to promote the cereal Gutierrez peddled in Mexico City: Gr-r-r-r-reat!
–Brad Holthaus

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