Interested in how one of your managers likely will respond to a personnel problem or how a vendor might handle a complaint? How about whether a customer will over-react if there’s a misunderstanding?
Spend a few hours together on the golf course, Bill Carteaux suggests, and you’ll have the answer. Walking and playing a few holes can reveal more about your colleague than a 40-hour workweek.
An avid golfer whose home is situated strategically on the fifth fairway, Carteaux’s favorite hobby doubles as an insightful business tool. “You get to know someone on the golf course,” he says. “Are they driven? Do they continue to push toward the end, or give up? After four hours together, most people really let down their guard.”
Carteaux’s first golf game with the former Van Dorn Demag president, for instance, revealed the fiercely competitive side of an otherwise laid-back, soft-spoken individual. Another revealing round ended with a vendor throwing his putter on the green. “He pitched it so hard it stuck,” Carteaux recalls. “He was a hothead, and it really showed.”
Carteaux travels extensively—and rarely without his clubs. And although he’s played on courses around the world—including a club in Singapore where dues totaled $200,000 annually—Carteaux ranks Toledo, Ohio’s, Inverness Club as his favorite. “It’s one of the top 10 courses in the country and has a tremendous history,” he says. “All of the greats, like Palmer, Nicklaus, and Sneed, have played there.”
He may not be a legendary golfer, but Carteaux’s hobby claims lofty roots. “Before I started at Purdue, I never touched a club,” he recalls. “A friend suggested it, and I loved the game from the very first swing.”
1984 B.S., Agricultural Mechanization, Purdue University
1984-1985 Sales and Marketing Manager/Regional Sales Manager, Pent Incorporated
1985-1988 Sales Engineer, Manager of Customer Quality Projects, Production Supervisor, Guardian Industries
1988-1990 Territory Manager, Stanley-Vidmar
1990-1991 Sales Manager, Group Dekko Autoejectors, Inc.
1991-1993 General Manager, Group Dekko Autoejectors, Inc.
1993-1994 Vice President, General Manager, Group Dekko Autoejectors
1994-1997 President, General Manager, Group Dekko Autoejectors
1997-2001 Vice President of Marketing, Van Dorn Demag
1998 Outstanding Alumnus Award, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Purdue University
1999 MBA, Indiana Wesleyan University
2002-present President and CEO, Van Dorn Demag
Executive Managing Director, Demag Plastics Group
“My Purdue professors helped me realize my potential and instilled a lifelong commitment to learning. I received an excellent education . . . but I also learned to manage competing priorities and to stay focused.”