Richard Carrano, Purchasing Power President & CEO, shares his secrets for business success.
By Bethany Kent
Why do you get up in the morning? Most business leaders answer this question with several reasons. But, Richard Carrano, President and CEO of Purchasing Power, had a short and sweet reply: “It’s about being up and doing. It’s about being able to create from scratch, address challenges and solve problems.” In other words, getting up every day to take on the unpredictability of life and business is what drives Carrano.
Not everyone grows up wanting to be a dynamic leader in a complex financial world either. But, Carrano has led since he was a boy. As a youth, he rented out video games to others who did not have them in order to make money. In eighth grade, he formed a private investigation firm to discover interesting things going on in his school.
“My biggest goal is to engineer my obsolescence”
During his post-secondary education, Carrano co-authored a business plan with classmates that garnered lots of attention and raised money in Internet space. After graduating from business school, Carrano followed in the footsteps of his father and took a position in Pharma with GlaxoSmithKline.
“It wasn’t so much about the industry,” the younger Carrano said. “It was about what you do.” For him, it was about demonstrating leadership and creating value.
Finding His Niche
All of Richard’s life experience taught him the importance of doing. He learned the value of creating a business from scratch; how to finance and fund a business; how to recruit, train and empower talented people; and how to help others recognize a need they did not have before. It was not experience alone, however, that drew draw Carrano to Purchasing Power.After eTour was purchased by AskJeeves.com, he interviewed with several large, multinational organizations. After walking out of one interview, Carrano said: “I wasn’t sure this organization really understood what creating value meant. It hit me, then, that I was an early-stage, growing-company guy.” Purchasing Power was a young company with an innovative program and great potential for long-term success. Carrano knew, “This was a place I could create value.”
After joining Purchasing Power, Richard Carrano reached back to his experience at eTour. “My goal was to duplicate the creative, empowering, supportive and dynamic environment,” he said.
Equation for Success
What was the key to such a difficult equation? “I knew that a good business model plus the right people equaled success,” Carrano deduced. He was right.
“I knew that a good business model plus the right people equaled success.”
Richard’s leadership style is focused on this critical equation. He works hard to be visible and to hire outstanding people to share the load. “My biggest goal,” he said, “is to engineer my obsolescence.”
Carrano also believes that one’s personal life is a catalyst for business success. “Being able to break away and invest time in other things is important in helping us all become better people,” he said.
Outside of work, Carrano is deeply involved with the Board of Junior Achievement of Georgia, teaching financial literacy concepts to kids. “If you’re not the one doing it,” he said, “there’s no guarantee that anyone else will.”
He also plays soccer and coaches his kids’ sports teams. Sports, he said, “really give you a taste of winning and losing. You have to recover quickly. You have to ask a whole lot more questions after a loss than you do a win.”
To maintain the dynamic Purchasing Power environment and business growth, Carrano and his team follow several creeds. The one creed that has most helped the company and its leader rise to the top and consistently create value, Carrano said, is: “Do the right thing with customers and the community, and you’ll be doing the right thing for you and your business.”
Bethany Kent is a freelance writer located in Moberly, Missouri.
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