The young American executive who represented the Baby Bell in '92 was mentored by Mr Slim, and goes by the name of Randall Stephenson.
Twenty years Mr. Slim's junior, Mr. Stephenson is back in Mexico, giving his old mentor a run for his money, this time as competitor.
Now in the role of scrappy underdog, AT&T has recently helped wipe $10 billion off the value of Mr. Slim’s company, America Movil.
Stephenson knows what he’s up against in challenging Mr. Slim, and recounts an interesting story.
At their first meeting in Mexico City those 25 years ago, Mr. Slim asked Mr. Stephenson to tell him more about Southwestern Bell’s capital expenditures.
“I was getting ready to answer, and then he answered himself. He just recited our numbers from memory,” Mr. Stephenson told the Wall Street Journal. "He knew our numbers better than we did.”
There’s a lesson in there for all of us.
There's no time like the present to get better acquainted with one's numbers!