Taylor Rhodes (Young Leader 2012)
Senior Vice President, International, Rackspace
What can Americans learn from the Swiss?
The Swiss have a unique position at the intersection of the globalization of the world. They are very comfortable working across many different cultures, and sit at an important crossroad of global business. Americans could learn a lot about appreciating cultural differences and building truly global business models from the Swiss.
What can the Swiss learn from the Americans?
Americans bring an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit to business. This attitude places a special honor on the notion of “fail fast, learn fast”, where a certain level of risk tolerance and acceptance of failure when trying new ideas is not only acceptable, but garners admiration and respect. In Swiss culture, failing at business carries a stigma and is seen simply as failure. Perhaps an embrace of a more entrepreneurial and risk-tolerant approach to business could drive a higher rate of innovation in the Swiss economy?
What defines your leadership style?
Open, empowering, energetic, engaging, expectation of excellence.
What qualities do you most admire in a person?
I admire people who care deeply about doing and giving their very best. I want to work for and with people who will bring passion and commitment to greatness to everything they do.
What is your greatest strengths?
Inspiration, vision, communication; the ability to build great teams and achieve super high levels of organizational engagement and commitment.
What is your greatest weakness?
My temptation to do it all myself, rather than allow others the time they need to step into new areas and learn
Where do you live?
Where are you from?
Phoenix, Arizona, USA.
What is your favorite leisure activity?
Half-marathons and adventure races.
What is your goal in life?
I think the highest and best use of my talents is to take ideas and services to market in ways that create growing businesses with great cultures where people can work with passion and enjoy what they do. If my life’s work helps create excellent companies and thousands of new jobs, and in so doing helps many people realize their dreams for themselves and their families, I will be fulfilled.
About Taylor Rhodes
Taylor Rhodes is Senior Vice President, International, at Rackspace, The Open Cloud Company. Rackspace is a pioneer and leader in the Cloud computing market recognized as one of world’s greatest places to work on the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies and Sunday Times 100 Best Companies lists. Taylor will be moving to Zürich this summer in order to build Rackspace's international headquarters operation in Switzerland. He joined Rackspace in 2007 when it was a privately-held $300M company, and has held key leadership roles in the company’s journey through a NYSE IPO in 2008 and on to its current annual revenue in excess of $1 billion and a market cap of over $9 billion. Prior to starting his business career, Taylor was a captain in the US Marine Corps and earned a MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is married and has three children. He enjoys running half-marathons and traveling the world.