Executive pay: a few words from the boss (No. 1)

We published our annual executive pay survey this past weekend, a feature that CEOs and their PR people generally disdain. We were able to get a few executives to answer a few questions about themselves and their work, however, which we will share through the blog this week.
Our first one is Mark G. Papa, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of EOG Resources, Inc:

mark_papa Mark Papa, Chairman and CEO, EOG Resources. (Brett Coomer / Chronicle)

Q: When you were a child, what did you think you’d be when you grew up?
A: An engineer. I never thought I’d be an executive, I always thought I’d be an engineer.
Q: What business person do you most admire?
A: Bill Gates
Q: What are you reading now?
A: The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006 – 2008 by Thomas E. Ricks. This book covers the decision making prior to ‘The Surge’ in Iraq.
Q: If you could have dinner with anybody in the world who would it be?
A: Henry Kissinger. He has the best global insight of anyone I have ever met.
Q: What’s the gutsiest decision you’ve ever made?
A: Implementing horizontal drilling in the Barnett Shale in North Texas and subsequently changing EOG’s strategy to focus on horizontal drilling in other shale formations.
Q: What’s the best investment you ever made? The worst?
A: The best decision is investing in our human capital at EOG Resources. The worst investment decision is not investing all my assets in EOG Resources.
Q: What do you do to unwind?
A: I try to play singles tennis three to four times a week.
Q: What’s your favorite charity to give to?
A: Casa de Esperanza in Houston– a safe place for children in crisis due to abuse, neglect or the effects of HIV.
Q: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
A: I learned early on when I was first promoted to management ranks how to get the best out of people rather than try to do everything myself.