Where I Lead: Leading by example

Bio
Bob Mathews
is a 1971 UNG graduate.
As president and CEO of Colliers International, he does not step into the spotlight often. Instead he prefers to shine a light on his colleagues’ achievements as a team. Recently, he was pushed into the limelight when the Atlanta Business Chronicle named him one of the most admired CEOs.

What is your proudest moment while serving as president and CEO of Colliers International?

What I am most proud of is our team in Atlanta in the commercial real estate business. They are the foundations to the success of our business.

Who influenced you in your leadership style?

Dr. John Owen, who was UNG’s president from 1970-1992, had a big impact on a lot of people and certainly on me. His energy and style of leadership was quiet and strong. He was not an autocratic tyrant despite being a reserve Naval Reserve officer. He had a presence and warm demeanor. He was an amazing person. He was a great leader. He was a role model for you and others.

How did your service in the Army help you in your future career path?

I loved being in the Army. It was a great experience and great learning laboratory for me. And everything you do in the Army is 100 percent transferable. You have to learn how to adapt to those folks with different experiences and different cultural norms and different ideas and learn how to be part of that and embrace it. You can use it as a strength instead of a weakness.

After graduating from UNG with a bachelor’s degree in political science, he served his country as a Military Police Officer. After six years, he left the Army as the commander of the 526th Military Police Company in Fort Meade, Maryland. From there he entered the business realm. Today, he runs the Atlanta commercial real estate firm, Colliers International.