I first met Cary Hayes back when I was working at Trina Solar circa 2012. He was still at REC Solar, and we had an unforgettable dinner (and too many laughs) in Phoenix. I’ve always wanted him on the show, and am so glad to finally have the chance. Cary and I have a lot of fun in this interview because that’s the kind of human and leader Cary is…he exudes both fun and confidence while remaining one of the most fiercely competitive people I’ve had the pleasure to know. You’re going to love every second of this interview – I sure did.

Cary is now President of REC Americas, but his journey to that role is anything but ordinary or direct. Today you can learn the secret trick he used to land his first real job, at Smith-Barney no less, after being a professional ski-bum for 8 years. Then, hear why he quit his high-paying job to write articles and follow his passion. He moved to California, slept on a couch, and was actually doing hard labor making $20 an hour before he finally landed at REC Solar.  It was at REC Solar that he got to work with the pioneers in the solar industry and that is where his story really gets interesting.

Cary’s 3 pillars for leadership and excellence should go on everybody’s office wall.

And it makes sense, because he has worked with some of the most iconic and impressive leaders, many you maybe have never even heard of. He even tells how one mentor ripping him apart for 15 minutes was actually one of the best things to happen to him. Today we get to sit at the feet of one of my favorite solar leaders, and it’s well worth the investment of time.

Listen to the full interview here at Suncast.