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Retired CEO Alex A. Molinaroli Reveals His Morning Rituals and the Importance of Staying Informed

Retired CEO Alex A. Molinaroli Reveals His Morning Rituals and the Importance of Staying Informed 40

Alex A. Molinaroli says he has always begun his mornings with the same routine — a cup of coffee and usually tuning into the financial news.

The one-time CEO of Johnson Controls, who estimates he spent 40% of his career traveling the globe making major deals, says he also peruses The Wall Street Journal before heading out for a bike ride or a long walk. He confessed he enjoys either fishing or golfing more than being inside a boardroom these days. Molinaroli is accustomed to turning on the TV and seeing some familiar faces. 

“I’m a regular CNBC viewer in the morning,” Alex A. Molinaroli says. “And that [is] for a few reasons. One is, I know many of the interviewers and interviewees. I also think that even though the program has a financial bent I’d rather hear about world events from a financial news network than the alternative. Even though there is financial bias I find the political biases alternative difficult to swallow. I feel informed, of course with economic or market implications, but I at least I just don’t feel like I’m always getting a political spin.”

Alex A. Molinaroli Talks About Life After Johnson Controls 

As a businessman, Alex A. Molinaroli powered Johnson Controls through a merger with Tyco International, improved Johnson Controls’ capital allocation process, and shifted the business from an automotive supplier to a top-level industrial company. After joining Johnson Controls in 1983, the founding member of the Electrification Coalition also energized the brand’s battery business as president of Power Solutions. So what are the resources he’s found to be helpful in daily life?

“Mostly, it’s really about people and staying connected,” Alex A. Molinaroli explains. “The people that I know and trust. I’m not as effective as I used to be, but I work to stay current and stay networked. Keep yourself engaged and knowledgeable about what’s going on [and] not just with what you see in the media. By the time you learn about something on the news or [you’re] seeing it on social media, it’s too late.”

When it comes to staying knowledgeable, Alex A. Molinaroli says he also recommends talking to trusted sources who have had a variety of experiences. “[It] not only keeps you current but keeps your mind active,” Alex A. Molinaroli says. “I think people and the networks I enjoy [are] probably my biggest resource. I’ve spent a long time — many years — meeting a lot of different people. It’s given me access to a lot of smart people with varied life experiences and perspectives.”

In addition, having such a diverse, global perspective is something Alex A. Molinaroli says provides him an edge in today’s ever-evolving business world. And he appreciates how each culture is unique. It’s taught him there’s not necessarily a correct or incorrect way to do business – just different.

Alex A. Molinaroli Contemplates the Power of Social Media

Although Molinaroli says he does occasionally engage with followers and news feeds on Twitter, where he has more than 10,000 followers, and LinkedIn, where he’s snagged more than 70,000 followers, he admits he was more active on social media before retiring from Johnson Controls. He sees social media as one of life’s biggest distractions in 2022. 

“I’m personally more of an observer than I am a participant,” Alex A. Molinaroli says. “I use it to keep up with what’s going on with people and things I care about and I actually like to know what’s going on in the world. So for me, it’s kind of a daily activity. And if I want to get more information I can, and of course we all … tailor our feeds to what it is we’re interested in and with sources we trust.”

Since moving on from Johnson Controls, Alex A. Molinaroli spends a lot of time at his Marathon, Fla., home boating, fishing, and hanging out with his family. After nearly 40 years of industry experience, the executive says he realizes what an irreplaceable asset time is. While he says he sees the importance of staying plugged in, he also recognizes the priceless power of downtime and advises others not to be afraid to trade their laptops and phones for a little peace and quiet during the off hours. “Try not to do more than one thing at a time,” he advises. “And always be present.”

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