The Boss file Featured

8:00pm EDT October 26, 2007

Born: San Mateo, Calif.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering, University of Texas at Austin; J.D., University of Southern California

What is the greatest business challenge you’ve faced, and how did you overcome it?

I was asked to start up a company with some private investors, and I was asked to adopt their business plan. I had my doubts about the plan, but I went ahead. The business plan didn’t work, and I finally asked to do it my way. I learned from that experience that you have to trust your own instincts and your own judgment.

Whom have you admired most in business and why?

I’m a big Jimmy Buffet fan, and I can totally relate to the lyrics in his song ‘Son of a Son of a Sailor’ when he says, ‘Read dozens of books about heroes and crooks, and I learned much from both of their styles.’ I’ve admired and learned a great deal from all types of business people by observing their styles.

What is the greatest business lesson you’ve learned?

As a leader, you have to have confidence, and it’s infectious. In athletics or business or among teammates or employees, if they see the leader demonstrate their capabilities with quiet confidence, the team will be much more successful.