Bob Sebo Discusses Leadership and Success with Mount Union Students

April 05, 2010

Bob Sebo, former vice president of Paychex Inc., discussed leadership and success with Mount Union presidential scholars and business students on Tuesday, March 30 during a fireside chat at Mount Union.


Paychex Inc., which provides payroll and payroll tax services, human resource services, 401(k) plans, insurance and time labor solutions, was founding in 1974 in Ohio.    The company, which began with only two employees, now has more than 750,000 clients and more than 9,000 employees, making it the largest payroll processing company.

A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Sebo spent two years in the U.S. Army and worked for the Cadillac branch of General Motors Corporation. 

Throughout his profession, Sebo learned that you can survive the ups and downs, but the number one quality that adds to success is attitude.

“I never took an active leadership role,” Sebo said.  “I didn’t participate as much as I should have. I had a bad attitude, but I did pay attention to how people acted around me, and eventually I was able to change my attitude and avert my bad behavior.”

Sebo explained that leadership is defined as one who shows the way.  There are three “Ps” of leadership – preparation, presentation and performance.  He also noted that character is another key to success.

To succeed in a profession, an individual’s attitude must drive positivity.  One should never assume they can’t do it, but rather reflect on how they did it.

According to Sebo, there are three types of people – those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder how things happened.  In Sebo’s conclusion, he left students with one final thought. “Do the best you can, and never accept anything less,” he said.

Sebo retired in 1994 from the management side of Paychex and from the Board of Directors in 2003.  “After retirement, I found that life is unbelievably fulfilling,” said Sebo.  “The more you can give, the more you see the need to give.”


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