Born: Freeport, Texas Education: Bachelor’s degree, finance, University of Texas; master’s degree, science and management, Houston Baptist University First job: Ticket salesman for the Houston Rockets. I sold season tickets in the boiler room on the telephone. I had to make 300 calls a day, they were the worst team in the NBA and they’d just lost Moses Malone. I worked on it for three months, I didn’t make one dollar and I didn’t sell any tickets.
What is the most important business lesson you’ve learned?
You need to be as open with people as you can. Assume people can handle the truth. You just need to be as open and transparent with people as possible.
Whom do you admire most in business?
My grandfather. He ran a small grocery store in Geneva, Texas, with his wife and kids for 40 years. He was honest and cared about the community and took care of his family and was just a man of incredible integrity.
What is a universal truth you’ve learned about leading a business?
The No. 1 characteristic of good management is discernment, making good decisions. People that consistently make good decisions need to be given more responsibility, and people that seem to have a pattern of making bad decisions need to be given less responsibility. Discernment is a rare skill, and it needs to be found and rewarded.