I’m Kurdish, and I’m from Turkey. I grew up on sheep farms, and in the mountains. What got respected most was a person’s values. It wasn’t money, it wasn’t how many sheep a person had. It wasn’t how tall the person was. A person’s actions would earn them the respect they deserved. The community would grow to trust that the person would always be there. That the person would lead the way. That the person would bring solutions. I watched my father live this. I watched my mother live this in a massive way. They were clearly leaders in the community.
When I started, I had five factory workers. I couldn’t promise them big things. I couldn’t promise security, even–that would have been misleading. But I could stand up and paint the walls with them. That’s the way I know. Action was my No. 1 thing: Walk the factory floor. Shake hands. Sit down, have lunch, joke, show vulnerabilities, show strength. Recognize people. I’m always there, shoulder to shoulder, on the frontlines.