Editor’s Note: In recognition and celebration of the diversity within the cable industry, we will be highlighting some of the 2012 CableFAX Most Influential Minorities and their responses to a series of questions on mentoring, job skills and diversity. For the 2012 CableFAX Diversity issue in its entirety go here.


Rich Jennings
SVP, Mile High Region
Comcast
 
What’s the skill that has helped you the most in your career—and what’s the next skill you want to master?
 
The skill that has helped most in my career is the ability to relate to people at all levels. To get the best out of any organization, you have to be able to comfortably speak to, relate to, and share ideas with everyone—from the very front line to the senior-most executives. This is critical because it is the only way to insure the vision of the organization is being translated as intended to all parts of the business.
 
What advice do you have for young people trying to break into the cable industry?
 
Three things: (1) Don’t expect to be made CEO immediately upon graduation (2) Have a track record to point to… If you spent 4+ years in college, your academics should (must be) be good, but what about your community investment? Ideas you generated to improve your college or community? Examples of where you put forth extraordinary effort, or lead a team to hit a goal/target? And finally (3), understand the direction of the industry and be able to clearly articulate how you can help drive it.
 
In your opinion, how is cable doing on diversity? Where do you want to see improvement?
 
Still in its infancy… Not quite wearing diapers, but a long way to go to get out of “pull-ups.” We are building diversity from the ground up. Usually, we are very diverse in our front line customer service and technical positions, but that diversity “thins” the higher you escalate into the industry. I think diversity is something you have to work at—it doesn’t just happen. As we grow, adolescence in this space will be signaled by a greater presence of diverse leaders and more diverse contacts in our vendor portfolio.

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