Powered by People | Thomas Harter Leadership Q & A

November 12, 2021

Thomas Harter

President

As President, Thomas Harter works closely with the executive team to continue the long-standing organizational success of Optus. With deep revenue-building experience across the Americas and Europe, Tom brings a global perspective to Optus’ growing national presence—leading the commercial team and aligning internal resources to create a frictionless customer experience. 

Tom has over 31 years of experience in leadership roles, including sales, strategic accounts, and corporate operations providing business process outsourcing and revenue generation services to Fortune 1000 companies. Prior to joining Optus, Tom served as Chief Operations Officer and Executive Vice President, Global Sales at OSG Billing Services. Tom holds a Bachelor of Arts in General Studies, Marketing & Entrepreneurship from the University of Iowa. 

Originally a native of Chicago, Tom now splits his time between Sarasota, Florida and Jonesboro, Arkansas. He enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters. He also enjoys traveling, rooting for the Chicago Bears, and teeing it up on the golf course.

Q & A

In your own words, describe what makes a great leader.

My definition of a great leader is someone that is driven by the following core values: integrity, accountability, empathy, drive, humility, and positivity—even in the face of significant challenges.

What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?

I embrace and love the variability life brings both personally and professionally. I strive to be the best father, leader, co-worker, partner, and friend every day. 

Who is someone you admire as a mentor? 

I admire many individuals as mentors:  Dick Winters (WW2 vet and key player in the 101st airborne), Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, and Warren Buffet.

How can a leader fail?

A leader can fail by becoming too full of themselves and believing that they have all the answers. Arrogance and ego are killers.

Describe your perfect team.

A great team shares the following core values: They communicate well with each other. They are goal-oriented. Everyone does their specific job and pulls their own weight. They support each other, bring diversity, have a strong leader/coach, stay on task, and have a bit of fun along the way.

What is your greatest strength? Your greatest weakness?

Strength: People-oriented communicator and strong leadership.

Weakness: Lack of patience.

What do you like to do when you aren’t leading the Optus team?  

I love to play golf!!! It’s such a wonderful game. The comradery, the competition with yourself and others, being outside, meeting new people. It can be very humbling but also very exciting. 

What’s a fun fact about yourself?

I’ve played 48 of the top 100 golf courses in the US. I’ve traveled to 28 countries and 48 of the states (still need Alaska and New Mexico).

What’s your favorite quote?

You don’t lose if you get knocked down; you lose if you stay down. – Muhammad Ali

What makes Optus different?

The comradery of the team, the focus on servicing the client above all else, and a commitment to embrace change.  

 

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