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Aly
11-14-2005, 04:13 PM
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Chris, 27, is a former NFL player for the New Orleans Saints, Tennessee Titans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He earned a B.S. in speech communications and rhetoric with a minor in political science from Texas A&M University, where he was an All-Conference Offensive Lineman and a four-year letterman. He currently works in advertising sales as an executive at KRLD News Radio 1080-AM in Dallas, Texas, where he was recently named "salesperson of the year," for generating over $1,500,000 in new revenue and breaking the company's 79-year record for first year sales. During this time, he started a company called Big Tree Investments LLC., a transactional real estate company that uses land trusts to acquire and wholesale properties. In 2004, Chris and his wife Lacie founded C&L, Inc., which operates their 100-acre tree farm in East Texas, where they raise and harvest pine trees for long-term investment growth. He and his wife enjoy traveling and spending time on their ranch.

Interview:

When will you consider yourself "a success"?
I don't think there is ever an exact "moment" when I'll consider myself to be a success. I've always lived under the "happy, but never satisfied" mentality. There is never a moment when I am not looking for the next mountain to climb or the next great challenge. I can have momentary success, but I will quickly revert back to looking for the next challenge to see how far I can push myself and my talents. Obviously, there are different levels of success for everyone. For me, if I can look back on all of it and know that I've made a positive impact on those around me, then I'll know that I've been successful. It has nothing to do with fame or fortune and everything to do with knowing that I have taken care of my family and loved ones.

How would you describe your leadership style?
Without question, I lead by example. I like to get my hands dirty with the team. I lead with a synergistic approach - nothing can be accomplished without a total buy-in from the team and every single member works together toward one common objective. I lead by bringing people together and motivating them to believe that the objective can be accomplished; then I work hand-in-hand with them until the job is done perfectly. When the engine is running on all eight cylinders, it is rare that the engine can be out-performed.

How do you deal with personal and professional challenges?
The only way I know how to deal with challenges is to face them head on. The driving force in my life is my faith: I believe that every situation, whether good or bad, is meant to happen for a reason. We have no control over the cards we are dealt but all the control over how we play them. I face personal and professional challenges head on, with integrity and honesty, knowing that this experience is being put in front of me for a specific reason, to make me a stronger and better person.

What, in your opinion, is the most important quality to have in order to succeed in life and why?
The most important quality to have in order to succeed in life is passion. Passion about your faith, your family, and your profession. Professionally speaking, if you surround yourself with passionate people who are all working together and truly believe that their product or service can influence and impact their potential customers in a positive way, then that company will be enormously successful. Having a true passion for everything you do will ensure your success in life - guaranteed!

What's more important: college education or real-world experience?
Neither is more important than the other. You've got to have a healthy mix. College teaches you how to manage your time and be productive while balancing a social life. Real-world experience is priceless. If you can gain the experience from college and use that knowledge as a platform while you are pounding the pavement in the real world, you will be light years ahead of the game.

Have any previous Apprentice winners motivated or inspired you? If so, who and why? If not, what did you think of the winners?
All of the winners share the same attributes, yet were slightly different in their leadership styles. If I have to choose one that stood out to me it would be Kendra from season three. Kendra was an extremely hard worker who was all about the team. During the famous Pontiac presentation, she included everyone in her pitch, even though she did the brunt of the work. She's a real team player and exuded passion during her final task. I can definitely relate to Kendra in many ways.

What have you learned from watching previous seasons of The Apprentice?
I've learned that you must be yourself in all situations. You cannot let the fact that the public will see your faults and strengths to change who you are. Your true character will shine on The Apprentice, both positively or negatively, regardless of the circumstances.

Would you rather be stranded on a desert island with Donald, George or Carolyn, and why?
Donald, George, or Carolyn..? Well, I couldn't be stranded with Mr. Trump because I don't think he'd be comfortable in his Brioni suit on a desert island. And definitely not George because I don't think I could take the lashings he can dish out (Can you imagine? "Build shelter! Hurry up. Why didn't you build it by the tree? Get dinner! Why didn't you fish in that cove! The other has more fish! Hurry up!!!"). So. I guess that leaves Carolyn - purely out of process of elimination.

What is your favorite music?
Country

What are your favorite books?
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki (unbelievable book by an incredible guy)

What are your favorite TV shows?
My wife and I are addicted to Alias, Lost, and, of course, The Apprentice

What are your favorite movies?
The Natural with Robert Redford - the greatest movie ever made. period. And Glengarry Glen Ross - if you are in sales and you haven't seen this movie, shame on you!

credit: http://www.nbc.com/The_Apprentice_4/candidates/bio_chris.shtml