The Call to Mastery with Jordan Raynor

Sherron Watkins (Enron Whistleblower)

Episode Summary

In the room where it happens

Episode Notes

Jordan Raynor sits down with Sherron Watkins, Former Vice President, and Enron Whistleblower, to talk about her experience blowing the whistle on Enron, how mastery puts us “in the room where it happens,” and the tremendous advice her pastor gave her when she was considering leaving Enron to go into more overt forms of ministry.

Links Mentioned:

Episode Transcription

[0:00:05.3] JR: Hey, everybody. Welcome to the Call to Mastery. I’m Jordan Raynor. This is a podcast for Christians who want to do their most exceptional work, for the glory of God and the good of others. Every week, I’m bringing you a conversation with somebody who is following Jesus Christ and pursuing world-class mastery of their work, of their vocation. We're talking about their path to mastery. We're talking about the guests’ daily habits and how their faith influences the work they do in the world.


 

Today's guest, if you've read Master of One, you already know parts of her story, you're going to hear even more today. Her name is Sherron Watkins. She's the woman who blew the whistle on Enron and was largely responsible for the prosecution of more than 20 Enron executives, after one of the biggest corporate scandals in history.


 

In 2002, Time Magazine named Sherron and two other whistleblowers as their persons of the year. Before the Enron saga, Sherron had an incredibly impressive career as an accountant and an executive. Getting into that VP position is what put her at Enron in the room where it happens, the room where she could leverage her power sacrificially to serve others and to end this massive fraud.


 

Sherron and I recently sat down. We talked about her experience blowing the whistle on Enron, how mastery can put us in the room where it happens and the tremendous advice her pastor gave her when she was considering leaving Enron to go into more overt forms of ministry.


 

I loved this conversation. I love every time I get a chance to talk to my friend, Sherron Watkins. Enjoy this episode.


 

[INTERVIEW]


 

[00:01:49] JR: Sherron, thanks for being here.


 

[00:01:51] SW: Well, thank you, Jordan, for having me.


 

[00:01:53] JR: It's been two years, by the way. I was looking at my calendar. Two years since we last spoke live via phone. We've exchanged e-mails in between then, but when we talked about Master of One – I don't think I told you this when we were on the phone two years ago, but I first heard your name when my wife was attending some faith and work conference in Dallas. I don't know, maybe four or five years ago.


 

She called me. She's like, “Babe, I found my new hero.” I’m like, “Oh, she's in Dallas. Maybe President Bush stopped by, some big celebrity, whatever.” She goes, “No, it's the accountant, Enron, that blew the whistle.” I just laughed out loud. My wife's a CPA. I was like, “That's so fitting.” You're like a celebrity in the eyes of my wife. I was telling her this morning. I was like, “I’m talking to Sherron today.” She was so excited for me. This should be fun.


 

Sherron, the first line of your obituary, chances are good is going to say, “Enron whistleblower.” I would imagine your career in your mind is probably marked to pre-post that moment. I want to get to pre that moment in a second. First, what have you been up to since leaving Enron and being on the cover of Time Magazine?


 

[00:03:02] SW: Well, that whistleblower label is just – it's very toxic. When the media were first saying, “Oh, there's an Enron whistleblower.” I had friends say, “Don't let them call you that. That's rat, fink, snitch, you were loyal, you went to Enron's CEO, Ken Lay to try to get him to do the right thing within the company. You were trying to get the company to survive.”


 

Then since then, I get a lot of criticism. “How dare you call yourself a whistleblower? You didn't go outside the company? You just blew the blew the whistle inside.” It's just got a lot of negativity. Although, that is changing. I would say in the last two decades, the term whistleblower is really on the cusp of becoming something that says courageous, or brave.


 

When you think about the whistleblowers that have been in our government the last year or so, when you think about the whistleblower protections that are now in the law, it's becoming a better term.


 

[00:04:04] JR: Yeah. I think, from my perspective, I think it's more of a heroic term today. It depends on the situation. It depends on who you ask. What you're telling me is yeah, 20 years ago, not so much.


 

[00:04:14] SW: No. There isn't a whistleblower that really continues in their chosen career. That is an odd thing to explain and I don't really have my head completely wrapped around it. Because it's not that a company thinks they're doing the wrong thing and you're going to expose them. It's something else. It has a little bit to do with potentially, that you are more committed to the truth than loyalty, potentially, that there is just some concern.


 

At any rate, I don't need to understand why. I just know that corporate America is a closed door for me. However, I’m one of the few whistleblowers that has a fantastic story. I go around the globe, speaking about leadership and ethics and the lessons to be learned from Enron's demise. In that regard, I’m very blessed.


 

[00:05:05] JR: Yeah, so you're not hiding away, like some whistleblowers. You've had a legitimate career post-Enron; speaking, traveling, talking about these issues.


 

[00:05:15] SW: Well, certainly. That is the case. I don't think other whistleblowers want to hide away. I think they have very limited choices. In many cases, my memos were found in a box of documents, subpoenaed documents that Enron had sent up to congress. Congressional committee were the ones that released my memos to the press and released my name to the press. I was called to testify.


 

The day before I was to testify, the congress people showed me a memo. It was dated August 24th, 2001. I had met with Ken Lay to warn him of accounting fraud, August 22nd, 2001. This memo, it got written pretty quickly. It was from Vinson & Elkins, Enron's outside firm. It said, “Per your request, here are the potential consequences to discharging employees who raise accounting concerns.” It floored me that Ken Lay looked into firing me so quickly.


 

I’ve since found out at other conferences that focus on whistleblowing, that the plan of attack is that's how you shoot the messenger. You fire the person and then you start smearing their reputation, attacking their credibility. “This is a disgruntled employee that we had fired. Can't believe whatever they say.” That was quite alarming to me that I came that close to termination and attack, but that attack is what happens to a ton of whistleblowers. Their company doesn't implode, it doesn't go bankrupt. That smear tactic works.


 

[00:06:58] JR: I want to back up, because I think your story that leads up to just your employment and rise through Enron is really important. I talk about this in Master of One, in sharing your story. I think, the fact that you are a master of your craft is part of what enabled you to be in the room where it happens, if you will. Tell us the quick version of your career story pre-Enron. You went to UT. Take us from the beginning of your career.


 

[00:07:25] SW: Yeah, I graduated with undergrad and masters in accounting from the University of Texas, Hook em’ Horns, and went to work for Arthur Andersen, one of the big eight firms back in the early 80s. Loved it. Spent eight years at Andersen; five years in the Houston office and three years in The New York office. I went to work for a commodity boutique finance outfit in New York. After about six years in New York, I was ready to get back to Texas.


 

At the time in Houston, Texas, Enron was the place to work. At that point, Enron was audited by Arthur Andersen. I had some peers and friends that I had known from my Houston days at the Andersen that now worked at Enron. I sent them my resume and they sent my resume around and sure enough, I was blessed enough and lucky enough to be hired at Enron.


 

[00:08:18] JR: I mean, they were the game.


 

[00:08:19] SW: Oh, definitely. They paid the most. Enron was a fun place to work. You could have a good idea and get a budget approved for it and pursue it. It was very entrepreneurial, very fast-paced. It was very enjoyable and fun to work there. It just takes a few bad apples that saying that a fish rots from the head, you get the wrong leadership in there and things can go south in a hurry. I feel the same way about Arthur Andersen.


 

In the 80s, Andersen walked away from their savings and loan clients. Walked away from clients. Denied doing their audits, because they felt like what had become normal accounting in the savings and loan industry did not represent the financial condition of those savings and loans. I was so proud to work in Andersen. Here, they put their principles above money. Then it came out after Enron's demise that in the late 90s, Andersen was exploring, “Should we keep Enron as a client?”


 

They concluded that it was a 52 million dollar a year client that would one day be a 100 million dollar a year client. Even though it was their riskiest worldwide client, let's just pay more attention to it. Yeah, we're keeping Enron as a client, to their ultimate demise.


 

[00:09:40] JR: Yeah. I mean, it's what brought down Andersen, right?


 

[00:09:42] SW: Yes. I will say that I do give testimony talks at churches and faith-based groups and I’ve always been drawn to that story of David and Goliath. Everyone thinks about yeah, the slingshot with the three stones that brings down this giant. I like the fact that David says, “Look, I faced a lion. I faced a bear when I was tending the sheep and I took down that bear and that sheep.” What's this giant going to be? He had done the little things.


 

I mean, as a parent, if I’ve got a young son looking after the sheep and he comes back and tells me he faced a lion, or a bear and saved the sheep and killed the lion or bear, I’d almost feel a little upset. Let that sheep go. That lion or bear could have turned on you. We lose one sheep, so what that's better than you risking yourself? David was taking risks, going that extra mile. I think, that's what Jesus meant when you're faithful with a little, you'll be given more.


 

[00:10:50] JR: We talked about when I was interviewing you for the book, we were talking about, going back to this issue of discrediting whistleblowers, that one of the things that you guys would do at Enron when people wanted to fire somebody, is go dig up expense reports, because everybody lied on their expense reports. If you could find something there, it was easy to fire them if you needed an excuse, but you were pretty disciplined about that. That's one practical example of what you're talking about, right?


 

[00:11:18] SW: There's a saying that character is what you do when no one is looking. And I feel if you really believe that God is looking, then maybe it's easier to have character. You're not patting your expense report, because God is looking down going, “Really? Really? Isn't that like stealing?”


 

[00:11:36] JR: It is. It is stealing. Yeah.


 

[00:11:38] SW: Yeah. You just don't do it. In the end, I think in order to really be courageous, or speak truth to power, you can't have those nagging doubts that, “Uh-oh. What if they find out blah, blah, blah?” I do want to temper my comments. People say, how could you be so courageous? That's in hindsight, seeing that Enron didn't listen to me. I spoke to Ken Lay, because I was truly optimistic that truth would and the evidence I was presenting to him were going to win the day.


 

I didn't speak to him thinking, “Oh, I’m really taking a risk. All this horrible stuff's going to happen to me.” I thought he would listen. What was waking me up at night was knowing that I really would only have about 30 minutes. How was I going to say this in a way that he would listen?


 

Because hey, I was a vice president at the company, but I’m one person walking in saying that Arthur Andersen, this worldwide, highly regarded accounting firm has done a flawed audit and your accounting and financial executives have committed fraud. Oh, by the way, Vinson & Elkins, your law firm has blessed some fraudulent structures. That's pretty hard stuff to swallow and believe. I was waking up concerned with how can I be believable about this? What can I put in front of him to get his attention that uh-oh, Enron has committed accounting fraud?


 

[00:13:07] JR: How did this all come about, by the way? How did you stumble upon the fraudulent audit? Take us through the process leading up to getting in the room with Ken Lay.


 

[00:13:18] SW: Well, my discovery of the fraud was very, very typical for fraud detection. I was working in Enron broadband. That unit was being disbanded and people were going hither and thither elsewhere at Enron. I went back to work for Andy Fastow, the CFO. I changed positions. I’m the new person, basically, that stumbles across the fraud.


 

People have used the analogy of that there's an elephant in the room that nobody's wanting to talk about and their backs are to the elephant and they don't want to turn around and see the elephant in the room. When the new person walks in the room, they just go, “Hey, guys. What's this elephant doing in the room?” That's a little bit it.


 

I stumbled across these hedging transactions that were hedged with these entities called the raptors. The math just didn't add up. When I would meet with people to get explanations on what these structures were, they would talk and talk and explain it and explain it and draw boxes on a chalkboard. I kept saying, “But wait a minute.” I’d add another question, add another question. Finally, these people would throw their hands up in the air and say, “Okay, okay, Sherron, you've worn us down. We don't really understand how it works at all. Supposedly, Arthur Andersen has approved it. It must be okay.”


 

Stuff wasn't making sense to other people as well. It wasn't their job. They weren't in the accounting department. They didn't work for Arthur Andersen, so they just comforted themselves that other experts had looked at this and as Jeff Skilling said famously in front of congress, “I don't know. I’m not an accountant.”


 

[00:14:56] JR: In the book, I made this argument like, how big was Enron at the time? How many employees?


 

[00:15:01] SW: Well, we had about 10,000 employees in Houston, but tens of thousands worldwide. We operated power plants and pipelines around the globe.


 

[00:15:11] JR: Yeah, and Ken was chairman at the time?


 

[00:15:14] SW: Yes, he had been CEO. Earlier in the year, he had stepped aside and Jeff Skilling had become CEO and Ken Lay was chairman.


 

[00:15:22] JR: Sure. Ken Lay's chairman of this company with tens of thousands of employees. There's no way you get even 30 minutes on his calendar, had you not been in such a senior position, right?


 

[00:15:37] SW: No, that's true. I had been at the company for eight years and I was a vice president. Enron had about 300 vice presidents, but I was an executive at the company.


 

[00:15:47] JR: Yeah. My point is that mastery puts us in positions of power, which is really important. Let's go back to that. Let's go back to your career. We talk a lot in this podcast about all right, how do you master any particular vocation, whether you're an accountant, or a lawyer, or an entrepreneur? For you, looking back on your career as an accountant, what were the keys to mastering your role that helped you climb the corporate ladder? What do you think you really got right?


 

[00:16:15] SW: Well certainly, I was a smart person with a CPA and worked hard. Good things come to those who put in the work. I do think you do your work the best that you can, that Bible verse that says, you work as if you're working for Jesus. I see that everywhere. We had a yard person in Houston that since passed away. He treated everyone's yard like it was his own, turning the soil and adding fertilizer and just always amazed me. He was just such an example of doing your work as if you were doing it for Jesus.


 

[00:16:53] JR: Good things come to those with grit. It's just a lot of discipline over time. What did the Enron experience teach you about how our work – even the work of accountants can connect to the work that God wants done in the world?


 

[00:17:08] SW: Well, I love that question. It's very interesting, because I stumbled across the Enron fraud in the summer of 2001. Jeff Skilling quit the company mid-August. That's what made me go meet with Ken Lay, figuring he just wasn't aware. I’ve got the real reason Jeff Skilling quit. I meet with Ken Lay August 22nd. I was very concerned that Enron had committed fraud. I already had dusted off my resume and I was interviewing with some of Enron's peer group.


 

[00:17:38] JR: Before you met with Ken?


 

[00:17:40] SW: Yes. Because I said, I can't work at a company that's cooking the books like this. I’m trying to get it corrected, but at the same time, I was trying to leave the company. I was the primary breadwinner for my family, but I wanted out of Enron. Well, 9/11 happened, the Twin Towers and the Pentagon are attacked. Almost immediately, we had anthrax scares.


 

I really sat back and thought, “Wow. If I get a new vice president job at one of these other companies, I’m going to have to reprove myself. I’m going to be nose to the grindstone, working hard to reestablish my career at a new place.” I really felt guilty like, what's my life about and shouldn't I be doing something for God and doing more charity work, or not-for-profit work?


 

I went to meet with Carl Hamilton. He was one of our associate pastors at First Presbyterian in Houston. He gave me some great advice. He said, “Sherron, you've got it all wrong. God doesn't really need you to do anything for him. He's blessed you with some skills, because he needs disciples in the workplace.” I told him the whole Enron story. He knew the inside story before everyone else did. He said, “Clearly, you've been placed in these positions, because you are meant to bring salt and light into these situations.”


 

He also gave me some advice that if you are feeling that guilty, naggy feeling, maybe it's because you just need to grow closer to God. What are you doing with Bible studies and what are you doing with – he asked me various things. I must have looked at him like, “Are you crazy? I’ve got a two-year-old at home. I’m working.”  He just said, “Look, start slow. There's this wonderful professional women's fellowship group. It's working women. They work downtown. They meet once a month for lunch and you're going to hear a Godly message. Join that group and that'll be a step in the right direction for addressing that guilty feeling you've got, that you're not doing enough for God.”


 

It was amazing how much blessing I got from that. I don't know if this story or not. Enron had declared bankruptcy. I won't go into what – I was still able to work for the bankruptcy estate. That's a whole other story. I was still trying to figure out. I was only assured one more month's worth of work. I was trying to figure out, what am I going to do next? Because Enron's demise had really hurt all of Enron's peer group. Everyone was laying off and concerned about what was next. It was mid-January, on a Monday that congress released my memos to the press.


 

My phone started ringing off the hook. Enron was already bankrupt. My warnings had been too little too late. For me, I felt like, “Okay. I warned Ken Lay. He didn't quite do the right thing. That's pretty much all I can do.” Well, so congress releases my memos and I mean, there's camera people out in front of the house. It's all just so alarming. That Tuesday morning as I was getting ready to go into the office, Rick, my husband said, came into the bathroom to say, “Hey, there's camera crews in the front, in the back of the house.” It really unnerved me.


 

[00:20:59] JR: You knew it was for you.


 

[00:21:01] SW: Yes. They were just standing there all camping out in the front yard, camped out in the back alley where our garage is. It made me incredibly nervous. This is where I do believe in angels helping you out with things, because I opened up a Bible that was sitting on a bookshelf and just literally opened it up. It opened to Hebrews 12.


 

Now if you think about your Bible, Hebrews is way near the back. Usually books open up in the middle. This book opened up just randomly to Hebrews 12. I don't think it's so random. Hebrews 12: 1–3 is a really encouraging passage. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, throw off the sin, the burden that so readily entangles. Keep your eye focused on Jesus, the perfecter of your faith, who denied the shame of the cross and kept going, so you keep your eye focused on him and keep going.” It's a real buck-up passage.


 

I made it into the office. By chance, it was a professional women's fellowship lunch. Now, I just met with Carl in September. I had met with him in September. I had just started doing PWF lunches in October, or November, three months before that. This is my fourth lunch. I’m sitting there at one of these round tables near the back. The speaker gets up and she opens with the same three verses. Hebrews 12: 1-3.


 

I mean, I started to cry and I’m not a crier. I felt like, “Oh, wow. God is really maybe telling me there's more to come.” Sure enough, there was. I was called to testify in front of two congressional committees. Just talked with others under oath, behind closed doors. There was so much.


 

My warnings were too little, too late to save Enron, but it did mark a prosecutional trail. The Department of Justice was able to get over 24 Enron executives convicted of felonies of white-collar crime.


 

[00:23:08] JR: You said when we talked for the book, I’m going to quote you directly. I think this ended up making it into the book. So many companies don't end up like Enron, because they're faith-filled believers in position of power within these firms, working to keep them on the right path. I just think that's really beautiful. Now looking back when you're talking to other people, who they're not spotting fraud today at their jobs and hopefully, they never will, but what do you encourage them with about the eternal significance of their work, even if they're not in “full-time ministry?”


 

[00:23:43] SW: I do encourage everyone to speak up, if something is bothering you about a transaction, about a cultural shift of the organization. Talk amongst your peers and colleagues. More than likely, other people feel the same way. Speak up. The beauty of that is hopefully, the company rights itself and you don't really walk around for the rest of your life going, “Well, thank goodness I did that, because I saved the company from bankruptcy,” because you don't really measure the disaster that you averted.


 

It's one of those things where I think when you get to heaven, it will be hey, remember that little time back in whatever year when you said – when you alerted your company to this or that problem, you ended up saving a lot of jobs and saving the company, but you just didn't know it?


 

[00:24:34] JR: How old were you when this all happened back in 2001-2002?


 

[00:24:39] SW: 42.


 

[00:24:40] JR: You're 42. There's this cataclysmic event in your career. For you at 42, it's like, “Oh, man.” There's this huge moment. You're on the cover of Time Magazine. I’m just curious what that did to you mentally, psychologically and how your faith was a guide to, yeah, you might not do something as high-profile as this, but you still have a lot of purpose in this world.


 

[00:25:00] SW: Yeah. Gosh, I wish I had the answer to that, because in many respects, it was a watershed moment for me. I do believe that I triggered the Biblical promise in Matthew 25, where each of us are given talents. For those that took a risk with those talents and really just that, took a risk, put them at risk, Jesus says, “Come and share the master's happiness.” So much spiritually has opened up for me. I would say, my goal is to walk this earth like Jesus, not really worried about how the bills are going to be paid, or what's what.


 

I can tell you so many stories. I do make a living giving speeches, but you can't count on that. You don't know when that's going to happen. I still had mortgages to pay for and bills to pay. There have been some incredible times where I’m thinking, “Hmm. We might miss a payment, or you missed two mortgage payments, but you got to catch up in the third month, or else, they're going to foreclose.” Something miraculous will happen and the Lord just proves, I don't need to worry about all this stuff.


 

Then also, just many – I got involved with a transformational prayer ministry. I was prayed for and then I also became a prayer facilitator. I’ve seen so much mystical prayer that really saves people and changes the direction of their life that I’d like to do more of that and I’m wondering how.


 

[00:26:31] JR: Right before we started recording, we were talking about the book and I was telling you how people really love your story in Master of One. You were saying that you really love the story of my friend, Christy Adams, who comes right after you in the book, who's been on the podcast. The story I told in the book, as you know, is you being a master of your craft put you in “the room” where it happens in a corporate boardroom, this room that just exudes obvious power.


 

My friend, Christy Adams, on the other hand, her power was seen in a much smaller, much more obscure and seemingly on the surface, an unimportant room, she would teach immigrants English in an apartment complex in Gainesville, Georgia. I’d love for you to encourage our listeners who aren't VPs at massive companies, about the good they're doing in the world and how their work is connecting to God's work in the world.


 

[00:27:25] SW: I loved Christy’s story, because that apartment complex where she taught people English and had such a love and a heart for the immigrant community, she has no idea the generations of people she has put on a different trajectory in life, because she helped them learn English. It's just so incredible.


 

I think that's really sometimes the more important work in service to others. As I mentioned, my warnings were too little, too late, but it helped mark a prosecutional trail, so folks that were victims feel there was a sense of justice. New laws were written, so hopefully, investors and shareholders aren't taking advantage of that again. The people that I might have helped with my Enron whistleblowing are nameless, faceless investors and shareholders. While Christy was able to truly help people that she herself was face to face with. Then that in turn, they're helping their children and so forth.


 

I was concerned about maybe, what am I doing next? What's my influence? I was going into the Vance prison unit in Houston every week with another team member and we were praying for prisoners one-on-one, with this transformational prayer ministry. It's very mystical and it's got some steps you follow. You're not just randomly, let's just pray together. You're doing something that's a little bit like therapy. There was an 80-man wait list for this prayer service, because their fellow prisoners saw how it changed that person.


 

I remember asking God once like, “What next?” Or, “I don't feel like I’m really doing anything. I’m back to the same, doing something for God.” I just heard a gentle whisper saying, “You're helping this prisoner right here in front of you. You're helping this inmate.” Really sometimes, we just want to look for something big when really, what's right in front of us is an opportunity.


 

[00:29:26] JR: Yeah. I think you put it really well. You're just trying to walk like Jesus walked, trying to apprentice under Jesus Christ. We can do that, regardless of where we are in the world, in a board room, an apartment complex, in a prison. That's a really beautiful testimony. Hey, Sherron. Three questions we'd love to wrap-up every conversation with; number one, I’m really curious which books you tend to recommend, or give away most frequently to others?


 

[00:29:50] SW: The one I like to give away is really old. It's over a 100-years-old. It's The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life by Hannah Whitall Smith.


 

[00:29:59] JR: I’ve never heard of this.


 

[00:30:01] SW: It's very good. The first four chapters are like an executive summary, and then you've got two other parts that I think are very helpful for folks that have grown up in the church almost. You just feel like, hmm. I think she starts off the book with a question from someone who's not a believer like, “Why would I want to join your faith? Y'all all seem so miserable.” Anyway, that is a book I like.


 

In terms of just societal stuff, I like a book by Kathryn Schulz, S-C-H-U-L-Z. No T in there. It's a 10-year-old book called Being Wrong. It goes through the fact that it's so hard for us to be wrong to admit we were wrong. I like Brene Brown. Everyone reads Gift of Imperfection and Daring Strongly and all those and she talks about shame, but doesn't really get down to why do we feel shame, or how do we get around this. I like this author, because she goes into the fact of how emotional being wrong can be.


 

It's almost like, the saying of how you have to take a risk to be loved and to love. You have to take a risk to be wrong. It's a very good book and a very good read and that's what I’m recommending these days.


 

[00:31:17] JR: That sounds really good. Yeah, I’ll have to check that out. Who would you most like to hear talk about how their faith influences their work, maybe on this podcast?


 

[00:31:26] SW: I’d like to hear Daron Roberts. He's a professor at the University of Texas. He went to Harvard Law School, coached some at the NFL. He mentors a lot of athletes, UT football players and others. He has five kids. Goes around the globe speaking on his course at UT, what's your game plan for living? I’d to hear him talk more of his faith and how he brings his faith to his workplace.


 

[00:31:54] JR: That's a great answer. I’m not familiar with Daron. I’ll have to look him up. All right, one more piece of advice that you'd like to leave this audience of people who like you, are just trying to do good work for the glory of God and the good of others?


 

[00:32:06] SW: I think overall, it's what Billy Graham said near the end of his life, that he regretted not spending more time in prayer. I’ve often thought about that one little verse in Luke, where right before Jesus picked his 12 disciples, he went out to the hills and prayed all night. I think it takes a lot of quiet time with God to really walk your purpose.


 

[00:32:29] JR: Did you have that perspective in the midst of this Enron debacle? Did you have silence and solitude in your life? Because your child was really young then. I don't know, did you have stillness and quietness back then?


 

[00:32:43] SW: In this world, I think we have to fight hard for stillness and quietness. This COVID-19, maybe it's God saying, “Hey, stay inside. Be still, be quiet and let me tell you a few things.”


 

[00:32:56] JR: Yeah, it's tough. You've got to fight for it for sure. Sherron, I want to thank you for the important, redemptive work you've done pre, during and post-Enron and just work that glorifies our great God. Thank you for pursuing mastery of your craft and allowing the Lord to put you in positions of power, to be used for his purposes. Where can people learn more about you today? Can you be found online somewhere?


 

[00:33:20] SW: Oh, my goodness. That's the subject of another whole podcast.


 

[00:33:23] JR: Oh, that's right. I forgot we talked about this. The e-mail, the weird website out there.


 

[00:33:27] SW: I still have some odd enemies. My Wikipedia page gets degraded.


 

[00:33:32] JR: There's a fake SheronWatkins.com, right?


 

[00:33:34] SW: Luckily, that website has been taken down, but I still don't have it back. That is something I have let myself – it feels braggadocious to try to, “Ooh, I need to get my website in order and my Wikipedia page in order.”


 

[00:33:50] JR: No, I get it. Yeah.


 

[00:33:51] SW: It's hard to find me.


 

[00:33:54] JR: You're really hard to find. Are you discoverable? Are you on LinkedIn?


 

[00:33:57] SW: I’m on LinkedIn. I do have a little bit – a very outdated website at sherron-watkins.com. There's a contact me page that's got my e-mail. People can find me. They just have to work hard at it.


 

[00:34:12] JR: I love it. I think that's how we found you. Well, Sherron. Thank you so much for joining us on the podcast today. We really appreciate it.


 

[00:34:18] SW: Well, thank you, Jordan. Tell your wife hello and I’ll have to meet her face to face one day.


 

[00:34:22] JR: Absolutely.


 

[END OF INTERVIEW]


 

[00:34:24] JR: By the way, if you want to read even more of Sherron's story, make sure to pick up a copy of Master of One. My book. Shameless plug. Seriously, so many of you guys have wrote me and mentioned how impactful Sherron's story has been in your life, so I hope you guys enjoyed hearing more from her today. Hey, thank you guys so much for listening to the Call to Mastery. I’ll see you next week.


 

[END]