As Luquire George Andrews (LGA) celebrates 30 years of business, I had the privilege to sit down with LGA’s CEO, Steve Luquire. We discussed his career, life and the future of the profession. He gave me wonderful advice on how to break through as a young professional.
In 1971, Craftsman Graphics was looking for a young professional they could train from scratch. They found that in East Carolina University graduate, Steve Luquire, whose degree was in Political Science. Luquire would work his way up the ranks to become Vice President of National Accounts. Luquire stayed at the company for 10 years. He calls that the, “best professional decision I ever made.”
After a brief stint away from the industry, Luquire returned to the creative world to co-found LGA in 1984. He assisted in advancing the three person operation into one of the leading public relations and advertising firms in the Carolinas. When asked what he liked most about being a CEO, he said that he didn’t like to act like one. He says, “The best part about being CEO is that your voice is heard on critical issues. The worst [part] is that your voice is heard on critical issues.” Luquire says he likes to keep his company’s structure as horizontal as possible. He also spends a great deal of time talking about his business mantra, that character matters more than culture.
This idea really intrigued me. As a young professional, you so often hear about the importance of having a good company culture, fitting in with the culture, etc. Luquire suggests that culture doesn’t mean anything if you don’t fit in with the character of the organization.
Character is important not only in hiring but also in acquiring clients. Flexibility and trust are key when it comes to client relations but never at the expense of compromising your character. He also stresses the importance of consistency. Whether it is with employees, coworker or clients, consistency is a key tenant of leadership. People should know what to expect when they work with you.
When asked what his greatest accomplishment to date, Luquire lists his family. He is happy with where he is in life and wouldn’t change very much; he’s satisfied. He has two wonderful sons and three grandchildren. He is also a big supporter of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Because of his years of support, the press box at UNC Charlotte’s Jerry Richardson stadium is named in his and his wife honor.
Luquire serves on boards for The Salvation Army, Teach for America and Novant Health Foundation. Luquire is also very dedicated to helping those with Myelodysplastic Syndrome, the disease he lost his wife to less than one year ago. Luquire Vice Chair of Project Life- an organization whose mission is to increase the number of bone marrow donors.
The last question I asked was, “What do you want your legacy to be?” Luquire answered by saying that your legacy is left for others to define and that we shouldn’t worry ourselves too much about it. Looking at his accomplishments, I think the legacy he will leave behind will be a significant one on the public relations community and on all those whose lives he has touched professionally and personally.
Post by: Katherine Faulk, CEO
Katherine, a Memphis native, is joining INK PR in Austin, TX upon her December graduation. She has held three internships and various leadership positions on campus. To connect with Katherine, visit her blog, follow her on Twitter, @kattals and connect with her on LinkedIn.
Images courtesy of LGA