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On the Job with Richard Doherty

Photo by Barry Levine

Photo by Barry Levine

"On the Job With ..." is a regular feature of Sunday Inc. Today's feature is on Albany insurance executive Rick Doherty.

Q. If you were a young adult fresh out of college, what would you do first in searching for a job?

A. First I would look inward in an attempt to truly determine the definition of success to me. Next, I would spend a great deal of time seeking advice from people I trust and admire both active in the workforce and retired. Then I would roll my sleeves up and get after it.

Q. What was the first thing you spent money on when you received your first ever paycheck?

A. Baseball player trading cards. My first pay came when I was nine years old. I chewed a lot of bubble gum trying to get the right players.

Q. What's the single most effective technique you found over the past two years for keeping employees motivated?

A. All of our employees have an ownership interest in the company, and we are fortunate to have folks that "really get it", so we really do not have motivation issues. Besides, I believe people are self motivated, or at least that is the person we are looking for in our culture.

Q. What was your first job?

A. I had a newspaper route. It taught me a lot about people and collections.

Q. What led you to your current position? Why did you want to operate your own business?

A. I have always had an entrepreneurial bent. Starting when I was very young I have always been involved in starting up new ventures and businesses. I guess it was just a natural progression.

Q. Do you have a role model or mentor in your career?

A. My mother was the single biggest influence on me. Coming off the farm she instilled a work ethic in me and an attitude that anything was possible. She also had a servant heart and was a deeply caring person. I am so grateful that she showed me that by serving others my life would be enriched. My wife has also been a huge factor. Her encouragement and willingness to take risks has been wonderful.

Q. What is the biggest lesson you as a business leader learned from the recent recession?

A. That it is key to have a proactive culture and the right people in place in your organization. Also the value of strong relationships with our clients is immeasurable.

Q. If you could turn the clock back on one aspect of technology - examples e-mail, automated phone systems, cell phones, PDAs, etc. - what would you most like to see go away?

A. The advances in technology have been great, well maybe not automated phone systems. The last couple of years especially have been a fun ride. I cannot wait to see where we are going next.

Q. What is your favorite work-related gadget?

A. My HP Mini.

Q. What was the last book you read? Do you have things you read daily or regularly?

A."Decision Points" by George W. Bush. I try to read the Bible daily and study it regularly.

Q. I'm up and going by? And what is your morning routine?

A. I am up at 6:15 and hit a cup of Jittery Joe's coffee. I like to start the day with prayer.

Q. If you could take back one business decision you made in your career, what would it be?

A. Wow, I do not think I could limit it to just one. But it is all a leaning process and I am actually thankful for what I have learned from some of my mistakes.

Q. Best thing about your job?

A. The people. The relationships.

Q. Worst thing about your job?

A. Red tape and fighting bureaucracies.

Q. The most beneficial course I took in school was?

A. It was a grad level management course I was lucky enough to get into as an undergrad at UGA. It was very real world, hands on and I continue to apply many of the precepts today.

Q. What would be your dream job if you were able to pick a position outside your current career path?

A. I would pitch for the Braves!

Q. Finish this thought; "on the first anniversary of my retirement, I see myself ...

A. Snow skiing out west with my grandchildren, should I be lucky enough for any to come along.

Q. What is the one trait a strong business leader cannot afford to be without?

A. Perseverance

Q. Crystal ball time: What's your call on when the economic recovery for our area will be in full swing?

A. First Quarter 2012. I believe that is the call of the Selig Center of the Terry College of Business, University of Georgia and they are normally right.

Q. What kind of music might I find on your list of most played on your iPod?

A. Contemporary Christian.

Q. What do you think is the biggest change Albany will see in the next 10 years?

A. It will have truly learned how to pull together as a community. It has to.

Q. What was the best vacation you've ever taken? Why?

A. Any vacation with my family. They have all been great. Maybe, the snow skiing ones, we are a bunch of South Georgia ski bums.