Tech Data CEO shares successful business traits with Executive MBA students

Bob Dukowsky

At the end of each quarter, Tech Data Corp. CEO Bob Dutkowsky goes through his calendar items.

He grades himself for each event on an A-F scale. Did he execute to the best of his ability? Was he present and focused? Did he achieve work-life balance?

"It's glaring," Dutkowsky said. "You'll see some things you're doing really well, others you're not."

Recently, Dutkowsky shared the wisdom he has gained from years as an executive in the tech industry with students in USF's Executive MBA program. He said he has noticed five qualities that push businesspeople to the top: focus, execution, teamwork, a sense of urgency, and balance.

"There's nothing wrong with not being good at something you see on this list," he said, adding that students' willingness to examine and improve their deficiencies is very important. "Don't put your defensive mechanism up and say, 'No, that's not me.'"

He shared his observations on those qualities, along with some tactics for strengthening weak areas.

Dutkowsky also encouraged students to consider a career at Tech Data. He noted that few tech companies worldwide have outlived the Clearwater-based technology distributor's 40 years because the tech world moves so fast. While Tech Data's competitors sell the same products that his company does, Dutkowsky believes that Tech Data's service level is what sets the company apart.

"The major thing that differentiates us from our competitors is the people in our company," he said.