Bill Greehey says you're not a success until you share your success. He says it's a huge moral booster for employees to be involved in community projects. Last year at NuStar Energy, employees contributed over 60,000 hours volunteering for local non-profits. Greehey says you have to lead by example.
"It's absolutely critical that the CEO establishes the right culture in a company and that he practices what he preaches and that he leads by example. Today we're delivering Christmas gifts. And again, these are things where my foundation financially provides the money, but all of our employees go out and buy the gifts, wrap the gifts and make sure the gifts get delivered."
Greehey says corporate philanthropy is a good recruitment tool.
"Let me tell you, it's just absolutely unbelievable that at NuStar, we are hiring so many people from other companies where they have good jobs and they're coming to work for us with less pay. And so I've talked to a number of them and saying 'you know, why are you doing this?' and they said 'because we love the culture of NuStar.' We have no problem recruiting the best people to come to work for our company."
NuStar is ranked 21 on the Fortune 500 list of "100 Best Companies for Work For." Valero was number three in 2006 — the year Greehey retired from the company. Greehey appears in the current issue of Texas CEO magazine.