Education: Bachelor of business administration degree, University of Texas at Austin, 1979
What’s the biggest business challenge you’ve faced?
A very substantial contract with an international software company that went sideways on us. I was executive vice president at the time and had responsibility for that in the enterprise.
You really don’t know someone until you see how they fight. That’s really where people display their character and competence. As the situation was unwinding, I interjected myself into the process to diligently coach our contractual partner on what’s going on and how it could be fixed.
And then things continued to move sideways, and the partner that we had said the contract will not be valid, and we need more money, and you’re going to get less than you were getting under the original contract. My position on that was, ‘Hey, we’ll be fair, but we don’t do the hostage thing.’
We ended up filing a lawsuit for breach of contract, and over the course of the next year and a half, I got together with the CEO of that company and reached a mutually agreeable resolution.
What is the best work advice is you’ve ever been given?
That comes out of the third chapter of the book of Colossians, verse 23: ‘Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.’
What is the best business book you’ve read?
The Old Testament book of Nehemiah is an excellent business book. That’s where the foundational concepts of passion, focus and competence come from.
I think people do well in business when they are working on something they have a passion about. They can then focus, and their competence soars.
Sepulveda on accounting:
Accounting is the language of business. If you are interested in business and you learn accounting, then that will be very helpful to you as you interface in any kind of business you get into.