Bill Pulte – The Leader

“There is no such thing as can’t.”

“A person can have unlimited success as long as they don’t care who gets the credit.”

“It is not about the glass being half full or half empty. It is about how to get the glass full.”

The Bill-isms are countless and remembered by employees, family, and friends.

Bill was a simple man who immensely affected everyone he met.  Perhaps it was his unpretentious demeanor and leadership style that drew people to him.

Bill had certain principles he lived by that governed how he led the troops:  advocate and reaffirm the vision, build alliances, check your ego at the door, don’t be afraid to hire people smarter than you, trust people, encourage innovation, allow them to make mistakes and grow from them, and more.  Short story: a guy in one of the Pulte Homes divisions lost $25 million. Wall Street said, “When are you going to fire him?” Bill said, “Fire him? I just spent $25 million educating him!”  Bill knew that for people to grow, they needed to get out, make decisions, and be accountable.

When mistakes are made, own up to them, Bill would say. “Don’t spend a lot of time and money trying to figure out who’s to blame. Focus on how to solve the problem and go forward.”

Bill’s brilliance as a leader, said a Pulte executive, “came from his comfort level with who he was and that he knew he would always try to do the right thing by people.” To Bill, being a leader wasn’t about success but helping people find the courage to become all they could be.

This leader is the same man who got demoted in the U.S. Army for never sewing on his Private First-Class stripe, never went to college, never wanted fame or fortune, only enough to support his family; he is also the same man who soared to heights that even he never imagined.