Men’s Fitness: Who is the person in your life who taught you the most about being a leader—and what did you learn?
I never really had a mentor. I’m actually not one of those people who believe you need one. Most of what I learned about leadership I learned through personal experience. It’s amazing how quickly just about anyone can learn leadership qualities by just paying attention to what works and what doesn’t work.
Men’s Fitness: What’s your best advice for a young person who’s taking on a leadership position for the first time in his career?
Pay attention to what’s happening around you. Don’t think there’s just one way to do things—context is everything. I’d also say work to reduce the stress of the people around you. If you walk in the room and the stress levels go up, you’re doing it all wrong—and vice versa.
Men’s Fitness: What are the most important qualities a business leader needs to have to succeed and why?
The ability to define a vision—to know how to make it clear to everyone how you’ll get there and how your corporate goals connect with the personal goals of those you lead.
Men’s Fitness: What’s the most common mistake (dumb or otherwise!) you see bosses making these days?
Trying to control everything. That never works.
Men’s Fitness: What’s the secret to pushing your employees to work hard and do a good job for you without having them resent you?
Understanding their personal goals and being able to connect them to your goals.
Men’s Fitness: We’ve read that you’re mulling a run for president one day. Is that true?
No chance I’d run for president. I wouldn’t do that to my family.
Mark Cuban is a businessman, investor, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, and a columnist for Men’s Fitness. Follow him on Twitter.