Born: Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Education: Bachelor’s degree in international relations; Master’s degree in management science and engineering, Stanford University
What was your very first job?
My father taught me from a very early age that if I wanted something I needed to work for it. In high school, literally the day I got my license, I started my own house painting company. I did that through college.
I’ve always had a belief that anybody, if you work hard and study hard, you can advance in life. I’m a big believer in the Golden Rule. Not being he who has the gold rules, but he who has the gold has the responsibility to be a great steward and take care of others and give back.
If you could have dinner with any three people from history, whom would they be and why?
A Chinese Poet named Lao Tzu. He was a Tang Dynasty poet, and when I lived in Asia, I used to read his poetry. I found he was a fascinating student of people and of human interaction.
Warren Buffett. What intrigues me about Warren Buffet is, in a few minutes, he can dissect a business and a market, and without getting into ridiculous detail, he is able to understand the core of what makes something successful strategically.
Mao Zedong and Otto von Bismarck. As a student of international relations and force and coercive diplomacy and interaction between countries, they both understood real politics and how you could move a nation or series of nations and how you create a new order and how to bring order out of chaos.