Leading as an eagle and a lion
John Stankey '85
Chief Strategy Officer, AT&T
John Stankey is group president and chief strategy officer at AT&T Inc. John’s extensive purview includes responsibilities for maximizing future growth opportunities and identifying the best strategic paths for the global communications powerhouse.
But back during high school, even before he arrived at LMU, John worked part time at a sporting goods store. He witnessed the shop’s proprietor working hard each week to balance payroll and other obligations while still putting food on his family’s table. “Watching that left a very strong impression on me about how decisions are made on what you can and can’t do in a business.”
John also spent his childhood as a Boy Scout, earning the organization’s top rank of Eagle Scout and backpacking with his troop to remote locations throughout the Western United States. “Frankly, we didn’t have a lot of adult supervision. If you wanted to get fed, you fed yourself. If you wanted to stay warm, you figured out how to keep yourself warm.”
That same ability to self-motivate and interest in associating with other achievers translated well into a career in the global economy. “If you want to be successful, build a high-performance team and make sure that you keep company with very talented and gifted individuals.”