The Problem Solver

Eduardo Valencia, Chief Technology Officer, State of Minnesota

What makes you a líder in your professional and personal life? 
The ability to inspire and bring the best out of people toward accomplishing a goal.

Describe the most pivotal moment in your career and why: The moment I pursued a technical-management career instead of a business-management path.  I’m an economist by training and, presented with a technology-management career opportunity, I pursued it not quite knowing where it would lead. Today, I love the role I do and the ability to translate business needs into technology solutions.

First real job: Economist in Granada, Spain

What is your secret weapon in the business world?
The ability to know what is important and what is trivial.  Concentrate on the former and navigate needed decision making swiftly.

What key trends define the industry you work in now?
Speed, agility, value demonstration, and transformation. I work in the information-technology industry; we can bring to business revolutionary ways to create value.

What single thing are you most proud of? 
At this point in my career, it is quite difficult to separate my personal and professional life; I work 10 or more hours each day and work and family intersect with each other at every moment. I’m most proud of how happy I feel with it all (it does take work to strike a balance); I love my family and my job.

What advice do you wish you had received when you were first starting out in your career?
Savor every role you do along the way. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

What’s one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?
I love baroque music; most people that know me would not think that it fits my personality.

Favorite city in Latin America: Panama City

Favorite and least favorite aspect of your current role: My favorite part is the challenge and the ability to have a positive impact on the way a state government is carried out.  My least favorite is the sporadic absence of logic in decision making due to political realities.

If we were interviewing your mom or dad, what three words would they use to describe you?
Funny, joyful, and energetic