Charlie Mechem grew up in southeastern Ohio and attended Miami of Ohio for pre-law and went on to Yale for law school. After graduating from Yale, he joined Taft, Stettinius & Hollister law firm, but was quickly drafted into the Army for three years.
When he rejoined the law firm, Taft Broadcasting Company became his main client, and he became good friends with the president Hulbert Taft Jr. and got very involved with the company. When Hulbert passed away in a tragic accident, Charlie was asked to step in as Chairman and CEO.
Charlie shares how he called his father for advice on whether he should take this position or not. His father answered: “Nobody ever got anywhere by turning down a challenge.”
After his time at Taft Broadcasting Company, he returned to the law firm for a while, until he was offered another leadership position: LPGA Commissioner. His friend, golf legend Jack Nicklaus, had recommended him for the job, and this role led to a close friendship and partnership with another gold legend: Arnold Palmer.
Charlie got to know the late “Arnie,” very well and he soon asked Charlie to come and run all of his companies. Charlie became his consultant and advisor and has spent 10 years working alongside him and mentoring his team.
The Power of Relationships
Throughout Charlie’s career, it is clear that he understands the power of strong, healthy relationships, both personally and professionally. He credits his optimistic outlook on life, love of laughter, and gift for making friends from all walks of life, to his parents, wife, family, and close business friends.
Charlie’s Tips for Strong Relationships:
- Listen to others.
- Think through the impact of all of your decisions, big and small.
- Have a good sense of humor. Laugh – at yourself and with others.
When it comes to leadership, Charlie says there are three ways to lead: by intimidation, bribery, or example.
“If you lead by example, and lead in a way that people really want you to succeed, then when things get tough, and they will now and then, you turn around and you’ve got a lot of people behind you.”
Charlie’s Rules for Leadership:
- Don’t take yourself too seriously.
- Don’t think you’re the answer to all of the problems.
- Never forget where you came from.
- Be humble. Humility is one of life’s most important traits.
- Respect others’ views even if you don’t agree.
- Work hard.
- Have a clear business plan so people understand where you are headed.
- Cultivate patience, humility, and sense of humor.
Podcast: 15 Minutes With Charlie
Website: Charlie Mechem