Early in my son’s life, he became ill with strep throat. My wife examined his throat, and he informed her that it was now his turn to examine her throat. He looked into her mouth with the penlight flashlight and gasped. He said, “Oh, Mommy, you need to go to the doctor because you have one of those things little baby cows suck on in there!”
Juan G. Flores admits that one of his biggest obstacles has been developing interpersonal skills. Skills that he says, “helped in working in a team environment while gaining the trust and respect of peers and supervisors.” But, being a “forward thinker,” he succeeded by overcoming an innate shyness that he considers a major accomplishment.
Randy Tomlin, Senior Vice President, U-verse Field Operations concurs, saying, “Juan is a strategic thinker who effectively couples his talent and business acumen to work collaboratively across organizations and advance operations.”
Understanding the plight of being shy, Flores learned to go beyond the call of duty—especially where others are concerned. An opportunity to participate in his high school daughter’s dance-team project at Allen High School allowed him to display leadership skills outside the workplace.
“I noticed that there were two group of individuals; one group had little or no knowledge of the woodworking needed for the school project,” Flores recounted. “Seeing this, I took it upon myself to lead the team that did not know as much. We completed our project portion successfully and enjoyed learning how to use the tools. It was fun to work with a great team of ‘misfits’”.
Setting a good example, especially for his children, is important to Flores. “Shaping the basic fundamentals of character by which they live is monumental,” he says. He considers it equally important to demonstrate good examples in the work environment. Like working with a group of woodworking novices, Flores enjoys the challenges associated with a new workforce “built from the ground up.”
Currently the Vice President-U-verse Field Operations for the South Central Region at AT&T, Flores leads a team of 250 management and 2,400 non-management union employees with a budget of $204 million. U-verse products include video, high-speed Internet, and voice telecommunications. “I have learned how to manage an organization that has little experience in delivering a new product and harness the power of building a successful and truly integrated team,” Flores explains.
Building relationships within the company structure and mentoring others have helped him build a foundation of trust and respect. He leads a diverse manager-mentoring group from work groups throughout AT&T. Sponsoring the Women of AT&T has allowed him to participate in social networking events and deliver keynote speeches at the group’s general meetings. These experiences have augmented his commitment to helping develop future leaders within the company.
“I strive to build long-lasting relationships that have a foundation of trust and respect,” he says. He learned this from his grandfather, who helped raise him while his parents both worked full time. “During my grandfather’s dreadful illness, I spent a lot of time with him and fell behind in my college studies,” Flores shares. Though depressed and discouraged, Flores faced a moment of truth. “I learned to bounce back and to ultimately become a successful individual. I am the first person in my family to attend college, and that decision has made me the individual I am today.”
At the end of the day, however, Flores says, “I want to be remembered as someone who lived life to its fullest, was a person of high integrity, was a great husband, father, and provider, and a good, trusted, and loyal friend.”
CareerFOCUS Magazine and the National Eagle Leadership Institute® salute Eagle Award winner Juan G. Flores.