Name: Gene Cossey
Education: Doctor of Public Administration (Candidate)
Title: Executive director
Company: Tri-Cities Airport Authority
What are you doing? I oversee and direct the operations, strategy and administration of the Tri-Cities Airport Authority.
In your opinion, what are the keys to success? The ability to think critically about life, business and relationships from a systematic point of reference so as to see the complex interactions and needs of people, organizations and actions. This opens up the possibility of learning and growing with each experience.
List some of your main successes: I measure my professional and personal successes on the idea of building a greater good. I believe most of the people and places I have worked with and been involved with are better off now than they were before I became part of their structure. For those few occasions where I didn’t leave things better, I hope everyone learned and grew from the experience and no one was worse off.
Can you name a turning point in your career? At one point, when I was younger, I chose between continuing in airports or changing careers. The decision to stay in airports and focus on learning and growing in all ways in this field was a major turning point for me.
Who are your family members? My parents who live in Texas, my son who lives in Oregon, my daughter who also lives in Texas, a brother in Arizona, a brother in Europe, and my partner and her two children who live here with me.
What management books would you recommend? All! Start with “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman
Do you read national trade publications? I read a variety of national business, news and political publications on the internet. My advice is to consult several sources whenever you have a question on a subject.
Any advice you would give to an aspiring manager? Think in terms of what you don’t know versus what you know, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and don’t dwell on mistakes, but learn from them.
Is there anything else you would like to add? The biggest component of personal and professional success is the will to never give up.
Moment With a Manager takes place weekly, focusing on a business owner or senior executive. If you have suggestions for an article, contact Marina Waters, Times News business reporter, at [email protected]