Blog|4 min

Accelerate the Next Generation of Hispanic Leaders

Lewis Haidt
BILL, Senior Social Media and Content Marketing Manager

Guillermo Diaz Jr. understands the importance of being the first to create the pathways for many. Born on the east side of Pueblo, Colorado to immigrant parents, he entered the US Navy as a young man to have an opportunity to attend college, later moving to Silicon Valley to pursue a tech career. After two decades rising up the executive ranks at Cisco to the corporate suite as Chief Information Officer (CIO), Guillermo is now the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kloudspot, an innovative Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IOT) analytics company. Guillermo shared the details of his personal and professional journey with Bill’d Vida, the Hispanic Employee Resource Group (ERG) as part of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Reflecting on the importance of his Hispanic identity, Guillermo centered the conversation around this theme: “Always remember where you came from in order to know where you are going.” For Guillermo, that meant staying authentic to who he was as a navigational compass to help him during every new junction in his life. Instead of asking “Why me?” during every new opportunity, he flipped the script to ask “why NOT me?” This meant ensuring that he saw himself as a corporate leader first, someone who not only deserved to have a seat at the table but who was at THE HEAD of the table, and who, yes, happened to be brown.

The Four P’s: Purpose, Platform, Passion, Perspective

Guillermo shared the tools that have laid the foundation for his success: the “Four P’s”: Platform, Passion, Perspective and Purpose.

Platform refers to what he does: his job, his work, and what he has learned. It is the foundation for the other three.

Passion fuels him. It has carried him. It has stayed with him from Pueblo, Colorado, to the Navy and then up the ranks in Silicon Valley. It is the glue that brings together his Hispanic identity: the pride of his upbringing and the confidence in owning his seat in the corporate boardroom. It also includes his personal board of directors. The chairwoman is his mom. Other members are the people who coached, mentored, and sponsored him on his professional journey.

Perspective grounds his success. It simultaneously never forgets where he came from and focuses on where he is going. It powers his leadership, his demand to be treated as an equal. It helps him stay centered.

Purpose is the North Star. It answers the question: “Why am I here?”  It informs Guillermo’s commitment to help push up, pull up, and accelerate the next generation of veterans and people of color.

Why Not You?

Guillermo inspired and challenged the members of Bill’d Vida, the Hispanic ERG. He asked: “Why not you?”

“Why don’t you change the world? Why don’t you be the leader who brings more underserved people, more veterans, more women, and more people of color into the rooms?” Guillermo emphasized the multitude of ways that any person can change the world, one step-one person-at a time. As Chairman of the Board of Directors of HITEC, Guillermo works to advance the organization’s mission: to connect, inspire and grow influential Hispanic technology executives while developing the next generation of leaders.

This is also why Guillermo dedicates his time to the Cristo Rey High School Network, a network of high schools advancing education excellence and individual formation in underserved communities. In conversation with and by modeling leadership to the next generation of Hispanic youth, Guillermo plants seeds of growth in each connection.

In a recent interview in Latina Style Magazine, Giullermo shared:

I was recently interviewed by one of those [Cristo Rey] students, and she asked me this question: “what advice would you give your high school self?” The answer was simple – I would tell myself that someone is going to change the world, “WHY NOT ME?” And, so why not YOU?

SO WHY NOT YOU?!? That is the challenge from Guillermo Diaz, Jr. It was first asked to him by his mother and abuelita, sitting around the kitchen table in Pueblo, Colorado. Now Guillermo challenges and mentors the next generation of Hispanic leaders, like the Santa Clara University undergraduate who recently expressed to him that he often feels lonely because he is the only “brown” engineering student in the classroom. Guillermo’s advice? “You are in the room! And once you are in the room, own it, and change the world!”

We’re working on it, G, we’re working on it. Thanks from all of us at and Bill’d Vida for your passion, your perspective, and your wisdom. Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! #Adelante!


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