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Essilor CFO Dori Abendschein Shares Leadership Lessons

By Essilor News

According to Essilor of America Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Dori Abendschein, being a leader means constantly learning and evolving. She recently sat down with the Dallas Business Journal to talk about the lessons she has learned during her impressive career. Read on for an excerpt from the story.

Growing up working in her family's furniture store, Dori Abendschein learned valuable lessons about business and leadership from her entrepreneurial father.

"He was the worst businessman I’ve ever met in my life for all the right reasons," said Abendschein, now the chief financial officer of Dallas-based Essilor of America.

Often times, Abendschein's father wasn't as interested in turning a profit as he was helping those in need. It was common for immigrants from countries like Thailand, India and Vietman to walk into his store and leave with a piece of furniture they didn't pay for.

Abendschein's father would even sell the furniture out of his daughter's room — with her permission — if another family needed it. Abendschein would get new furniture when the store was paid months later.

"He wanted me to understand that there were always people who have a harder time," she said. "And there’s just no better lesson in leadership. First of all, learning how to prioritize the customers. You always prioritize the customer’s needs first. And secondly, learning that nothing’s more important than the people around you. It’s just stuff."

The complete story is available here. Please note it is paywall protected so readers need to subscribe for full access.