Meet Anthony Jabbour. He is the Chief Executive Officer for two major industry-leading companies, Black Knight, Inc. and Dun & Bradstreet.

Sam: Why are you passionate about Black Knight and Dun & Bradstreet?
Anthony Jabbour: Both Black Knight and Dun & Bradstreet are leaders in their industry, have skilled, forward-thinking employees and have great clients focused on growing their businesses. I am passionate about both of these companies because we have the opportunity to build on this strong base and to deliver innovations that can transform our clients’ businesses. With opportunities like this, who wouldn’t be excited?

Sam: How do you encourage growth & innovation as an organizational leader?
Anthony Jabbour: You can ask any of my colleagues, our clients, heck, even my family, and they will tell you that I am laser focused on innovation, integration and urgency. I believe this is how we grow as a company and deliver the best solutions to our clients. When I first started as CEO, I challenged my colleagues to identify new, innovative solutions that we can integrate with our other solutions and that would help our clients increase efficiency, gain new clients, increase client retention and mitigate risk. 

My colleagues did not disappoint, and today they are moving quickly to achieve our goals. 

In short, I believe if you surround yourself with skilled and motivated people and provide them with a goal and explain the positive impact of achieving that goal – they will exceed the expectations that were set.

Sam: How do you ensure senior management is in sync, and communication of long-term initiatives is passed down throughout the corporation?
Anthony Jabbour: Communication with my colleagues is so important to ensure we are all moving in the same direction, have the same goals and are focused on innovation, integration and urgency. 

I have frequent meetings with my leadership team, where we discuss what is happening in the company and what we need to do to achieve our goals. This is the opportunity for everyone to share potential obstacles so we can address them together. We work as a team to grow our company.

I also have frequent meetings with all of our employees so the leadership team can provide updates and we can take questions. We make it clear that no question is off limits and we are as transparent as possible when talking with our colleagues.

It is also important to walk the talk. So, when I say urgency is important, my colleagues know I am acting with urgency too – whether I’m responding to emails or making strategic decisions.

Sam: Many who know you, consider you to be very personable & genuine. How important is personality in business and as a leader?
Anthony Jabbour: I believe having personal relationships built on trust and transparency with the people you do business with is crucial to long-term business relationships. 

When things go well, it means more to celebrate with a client with whom you have a strong personal relationship. Similarly, that personal relationship makes addressing challenges and issues much easier. 

Having these personal relationships also makes what I do more enjoyable. I’ve become close friends with many amazing people, who also happen to be our clients.

Sam: Between leading two major companies and the philanthropy work you are involved with; how do you manage your work life and family time?
Anthony Jabbour: I really enjoy what I do; I enjoy the challenges; so, it just works. I have strong leadership teams at both Black Knight and Dun & Bradstreet, and I have a wonderful, supportive wife and family. I am grateful for both and do not take either for granted.

Sam: Finally, is there anything you believe young people just starting their careers should do when trying to climb the corporate ladder?
Anthony Jabbour: Actually, there are a few things that I believe are important to achieving success:

    • Always challenge yourself and never stop learning.
    • Pay attention to things, even when they don’t seem to be relevant to ‘your job’, because they could be important to your next job.
    • Learn from others, respect others and work to build lasting relationships - not because of what they may help you get in the long run, but because they are important. Above all, remain humble and helpful.
    • Always look at things from another’s perspective. For example, think about what your boss would want to know; what do your clients what to hear, etc.
    • Don’t be a victim - Learn how to accept rejection – and learn from it. Own the results. For example, if a prospect doesn’t select your product, own it and figure out what you can do differently next time.
    • Be willing to take risks – the hardest part of any journey is not what lies ahead, but who and what you are leaving. But, to achieve greater things, you often times have to take risks.

    • Have a sense of urgency. The person, company or team that acts with the most urgency will win – every time. Don’t be reckless, just don’t put off until tomorrow what you should do today. 

 

Disclaimer: Headshot Photo Provided Courtesy & Authorized by Black Knight, Inc. and Anthony Jabbour. Potential minor edits for transcript's length, flow, grammatical/formatting.
NEXT: If you enjoyed this, please read our interview with Olympic Silver Medalist in Gymnastics Samantha Peszek