Right away you know that Booker T. Carter is a different kind of corporate animal.
As vice president of Subscriber Services for CareFirst & Columbia FreeState, you might imagine that for him success is the excitement of leadership. But to him, the sweet smell of success is having people who love you and who you love.
"I've learned over the course of my career that you must make time for your family. The most important part about life is the people you care about. It is my family that motivates me to achieve. My mother and father are the only heroes I've ever had. They taught me the value of the family unit. No matter how tough times have been, the strength and love of my family has always seen me through."
"It's the people side of management that turns me on," Mr. Carter says. "I'm so confident in my ability that I expect to achieve results, so I don't get a lot of satisfaction out of that. I don't expect to fail. So it's the people piece. Watching them grow as human beings as well as members of the company. I've found that the more you can make people like themselves, you increase their perspective of what their potential can be."
Mr. Carter was born in Fort Riley, Kan., into a military family that traveled around the country. He graduated form Grinnell College in Iowa as a German/Russian major. Chicago was home until a year and a half ago when he moved to Baltimore to work within the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Corporation.
"One of the major selling points for becoming a member of the Blue Cross/Blue Shield organization was that it is extremely community-oriented. Not only does it support community involvement, but it makes time for its members to become involved in community activities such as my own involvement in the Leadership program for the Greater Baltimore Committee. It is a wonderful program. It wants to develop civic leaders who will help with the improvement and growth of Baltimore," he says.
"It's important to never put self above people. We are supposed to make people feel a part of the vision of the company."
For Mr. Carter, community outreach is an important extension of being a productive leader.