What resonates the most for you from your two decades on Wall Street?
In my years on Wall Street I have seen many people do extremely well and others who have not found success. A couple of phrases that come to mind when I think about this are: 1) There is no such thing as luck; rather, luck is when hard work meets opportunity, and 2) It takes a lot of work to become an overnight success.
I believe it takes a lot of commitment, desire, and work to be successful at anything you set out to do, and this is true whether it includes your career, family, athletics, or hobbies. You have to put yourself in the position to excel when the opportunity presents itself by being prepared. It is also important to remember to not only work hard, but also work smart. It doesn’t do a lot of good to just put in the hours if you aren’t strategic about it or heading in the right direction. Otherwise, you will just be running in place.
Find a career for which you have a passion. I have worked in jobs where I have “watched the clock.” Nothing can make for a longer day or career. No matter what you do, you most likely will have to dedicate significant hours to become successful at it. If you choose something you enjoy or love, at the end of the day it doesn’t even feel like work.
Lastly, you need to find something that challenges you and keeps you sharp. Try to continue to learn and grow. At the start of any career the learning curve can be very steep. The key is to try to keep it steep. Always try to stretch yourself, keep things interesting.
What are some guiding principles that anchor your leadership philosophy?
Most of these are going to be principles that you have heard about since grade school but they still hold true.
Honesty... You have to be honest with yourself, teammates, and clients. Always put the interest of your clients first. Wall Street has had a tough few years in the press, and there will be conflicts of interest in almost any career you choose. You have to earn clients’ trust and always do the right thing.
Teamwork .....Is critical in any business. You have to lead by example. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. I remember boarding a flight where I saw the CEO of the airline company helping load the bags. That has always stood out in my mind.
Loyalty...Clients and teammates need to understand that I am there for them and vice versa. I have their backs and can be relied upon. This helps build great unity.
Listen... A lot of the time it is better to just listen instead of doing all the talking. You can learn something from everyone.
What does "Dare Mighty Things" mean to you?
The first thing I think about is getting outside of your comfort zone. Embrace and seek out opportunities that may seem uncomfortable at the time but will put you in a position to gain new experiences. These are the times in my life when I have learned and grown the most, through successes and failures.
The second thing I think about is that it is necessary at times to take risks in life. Hopefully they can be calculated risks. You may not always know with certainty the outcome, and it may come down to a leap of faith, but occasionally you need to try to seize opportunities that will make you stretch.
Try to learn from your decisions, good and bad, but always “Dare Mighty Things...”