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UPS Sees Its Shipping Future in Health Care, Retail and Green Technologies

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The rush to deliver online merchandise from the likes of Walmart  and Amazon , and the aging of the global population, means one thing for shipping and logistics companies UPS  and FedEx : They will have to invest more in their infrastructures to meet new demands on their operating systems.

In an exclusive interview with TheStreet, UPS Chief Financial Officer Kurt Kuehn touched on how UPS intends to address those challenges, which also happen to represent long-term opportunities.

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Brian Sozzi: What are the three things that you focus on daily/weekly/monthly to climb the ladder?

Kuehn: I'll start by saying one thing I do not focus on is the corporate ladder. That's not to say career advancement is not important or something we work toward. I just don't think making it a focus is productive for the individual or the organization. I think career advancement comes far more often to those who focus on helping their people and their organizations grow and reach their goals.

Throughout my career, I've looked for opportunities to do more. But at UPS I'm certainly not unique in this respect. Doing more is how most people at our company get the opportunity to take on new assignments with increasing responsibility. In a results-driven company such as ours, where there is also a culture of sharing the recognition for a job well done, doing more is part of our DNA.

My constant focus is on looking for new growth opportunities, minimizing financial risks and delivering more value to customers and shareholders. Along with all of our senior leaders, I take a keen interest in how megatrends such as emerging economies, sustainability and global B2C commerce are reshaping our world. We need to make sure that we understand these trends and how they affect our customers' businesses so we can adjust our service offerings appropriately.

Our company is also very focused on career development and the upward mobility of employees. So in any position that I have been in, I always have looked for opportunities to improve the performance of team members. Of course, individuals continually working to improve their performance puts a healthy pressure on me to do the same thing. So we get better together.

Sozzi: How would you compare/contrast the UPS culture relative to other large, well-established businesses and most importantly, how do you go about preserving that culture for generations to come?

Kuehn: I joined UPS in 1977 as a driver, so the UPS culture is the only one I know. Our culture has evolved from the values that were instilled by our founder, Jim Casey, who started the company more than 100 years ago. Jim gave the company a strong moral compass that points us individually and as an organization toward doing the right thing in any situation. The needs of our customers have changed dramatically over the years, and our business has adapted to keep pace and continue to meet those needs. But the thing that has not changed -- and never will -- is a set of beliefs and values that guided our founders and the men and women who have since led the company.