Growing up in the barrio in San Antonio, Texas, and later attending a private school on scholarship, Jesse Carrillo got adept early on at playing to a diverse crowd. The tech-inclined Carrillo didn’t exactly fit in with the rough gangs at home. Yet at school, he stood out from the wealthy, mostly white student population as one of a handful of Latinos.
Instead of identifying with one group over the other, Carrillo did what any resourceful kid might: He learned how to adapt quickly to different expectations and cultures. The character trait became a lifelong lifesaver — it kept him from being bullied as a kid on the streets and later empowered him to navigate a career in the predominantly white IT industry where he now serves as CIO.