By Susie Gharib
June 6, 2017

Carlos Rodriguez is proud of his immigrant roots and the story of how his parents fled Cuba in the 1960s and settled in Miami, Florida. Rodriguez was three-years-old back then, but he worked hard and was the first member of his family to go to college (Harvard University, no less). He is now running one of the largest companies on the Fortune 500. He is the CEO of ADP (adp), a human resources and payroll services company with $12 billion in annual revenues.

“I am definitely a living example of the American Dream,” says Rodriguez.

He tells Fortune’s Susie Gharib that he learned a lot from watching how his parents struggled to make a living in the United States. He says those lessons guide him even today as he presides over ADP and its 55,000 employees.

“This concept of hard work is something that was really ingrained in me at a very early age,” he explains. “It taught me a lot about leadership both at the family level, but also at the business level.”

This carries over into what he looks for when hiring executives for leadership roles. “Willingness to work hard,” he says. “I think there’s no substitute for hard work.”

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