Brad Dusto, President of Comcast’s 6-state West Division, learned about the importance of mentoring people other than white males after launching a pay-per-view service in New Orleans many years ago.
“I was selecting the movies. Quite frankly, they were doing terribly.” So Dusto assembled a cross-section of the workforce to view movie trailers.
“The first thing they chose was The Color Purple,” he recalls. After that he let his employees select the movies, and the service fared much better. At the same time, Dusto recognized a broader lesson: “You need to hear the voices of the communities you serve. I realized our management teams had to represent all facets of the people we serve.”
Dusto also realized that it’s difficult for employees in the ranks to gain the “big picture” perspective needed in management. Mentoring has become a way for him to teach that. To provide the big picture, he developed boot camps tailored to each mentee’s strengths and weaknesses.
Cathy Kilstrom, an SVP in customer care at Comcast, says Dusto sets the tone for the organization.
“He’s helped many women find their voices and a seat at the table and at the same time elevate their position,” Kilstrom says. “He is a great listener” and was supportive of her tenure as president of WICT’s Rocky Mountain chapter. “He believes that was an investment for the future.”