Atlanta Business Chronicle has just named our list of Atlanta’s Most Admired CEOs of 2017. They will be honored on August 24 at an awards event at The Foundry at Puritan Mill. ( Learn more about the event here.) Here’s a Q&A with one of the honorees, Dave Moody, founder and CEO of C.D. Moody Construction.

Q: What are the keys to CEOs building a high level of trust in their organizations?

A: I believe to build trust in an organization requires a CEO to always be truthful, fair, remove obstacles (includes bad teammates), be transparent, reliable, laugh at themselves, humble, helpful. Very important to be able to inspire and motivate. Be able to admit when you are wrong. In the end we are professional cheerleaders.

Q: Please tell us what leadership and being a leader means to you.

A: As I have aged the meaning has changed. At 61 years old, leadership means sharing of yourself. Help others gain valuable lessons from your life. Being transparent with your life’s journey. Show them you can still grow and learn. Pushing yourself emotionally, physically and spiritually. Being a great role model and giving back and expect nothing in return.

Q: Who is a favorite leader you admire, and why?

A: I have numerous favorite leaders, but if I have to pick one it would be President Barack Obama. Politics aside, I admire him for his ability to remain calm when things were being said about him and his family were just horrible and mean spirited. I admire his courage to believe he could be the first African American president. I admired his ability to laugh at himself and be a regular guy. As a person that grew up during the civil rights movement and remember many of the things from segregation, I can’t help but admire his courage to believe and act on what is possible in this country. I pinch myself daily when I think where I started and what I am doing today. Dreams do come true.

Q: Please explain how you and your organization make tough decisions.

A: Over the years we have learned don’t let tough decisions linger, do our homework, review options and agree, then make the call and don’t look back.

Q: Please give some details about one of your top accomplishments of the past year that you are most proud of.

A: Construction top accomplishment is building the Cyclorama at the Atlanta History Center. From a civic point, top accomplishment is working through Moodyspeaks to help other survivors of childhood sexual abuse know they can heal and do incredible things with their lives despite our past.

Q: How is your organization changing or adapting to prepare for the future?

A: We are changing by increasing use of technology and getting the next generation of leaders ready and allowing them to take a more active role in leadership.

Q: What top piece of advice would you share with other CEOs?

A: The journey goes fast, and don’t waste time looking back. Strive to grow and deal with any thing that holds you back from being the best you can be. Have great balance in your life and spend time and love your family and friends. Be a person that people feel better after they have spent time with you. Find a reason to smile and laugh everyday. Be honest with yourself on your strength and weaknesses. Don’t let imaginary fear stop you.

Q: What one of the best books you’ve read recently, and why?

A: The best book I have read lately is the book I just wrote, “Fighting through the fear, my journey of healing from childhood sexual abuse”. It is a love a story, business book, and a story of healing and finding joy. It tells the story of my love for architecture and construction and some of the funny stories of my life.

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