Lessons in Leadership

Throughout his career, from the top of the energy industry to the 2023 World Series championship, Ken Hersh ’81 has gained some valuable lessons about business and leadership. The latest installment of the Alumni Leadership Speaker Series welcomed Hersh back to campus to share some of those lessons and more with his fellow Marksmen.  
The conversation, moderated by Nick Cassavechia ’04, chair of the Activities and Alumni Weekend Committee, spanned the breadth of Hersh’s career, from the founding of Natural Gas Partners (NGP) to his current role as president and CEO of the George W. Bush Presidential Center and as a minority owner and board member of the Texas Rangers Baseball Club.  
Hersh also shared insights from his new book, The Fastest Tortoise: Winning in Industries I Knew Nothing About—A Life Spent Figuring It Out. In the book, Hersh alludes to his goal of seeing the Rangers win a World Series championship – a desire that turned out to be extremely prescient.  
“We sent the book to print in August 2022, when the Rangers were dead last,” Hersh said. “The book came out in spring 2023, and by November, we were world champions.”  

In early March, Hersh brought the Texas Rangers' World Series trophy to campus for boys to see and take photos with. 

Reflecting back on his career, Hersh shared lessons he learned working under legendary leaders like billionaire investor Richard Rainwater and President George W. Bush.  
“To build a great team, you need to have people who will run through a brick wall for you,” Hersh said. "When building the team at the Bush Center, I couldn’t always compete with salaries and stock options. But what I could compete with was culture, flexibility and quality of life. There's a lot of trust and a lot of accountability, and I know they’ll do their work.”  
In addition to his impressive professional career, Hersh has remained an ardent supporter of St. Mark’s. He has served on the Board, including one two-year term as president, and has spoken with alumni and students on multiple occasions, including as Commencement speaker for the Class of 2017. For his continued dedication to St. Mark's, Hersh was named a Distinguished Alumnus in 2015.
“The single greatest association in my life is my relationship with St. Mark's School of Texas,” Hersh said. “St. Mark's was my stability.” 

The Alumni Association’s Leadership Speaker Series aims to provide Marksmen with lifelong learning opportunities, hearing from guest speakers in a variety of fields and interests. Each year, Marksmen gather at incredible venues across Dallas to hear from distinguished speakers across diverse fields, from sports and science to business and barbeque.  

Watch a recording of Hersh's talk below.


St. Mark’s School of Texas

10600 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas 75230

About Us

St. Mark’s School of Texas is a private, nonsectarian college-preparatory boys’ day school for students in grades 1 through 12, located in Dallas, Texas. St. Mark’s aims to prepare young men to assume leadership and responsibility in a competitive and changing world.

St. Mark’s does not discriminate in the administration of its admission and education policies on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin.