Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Values and Leadership

Here is a link to an OpEd that is shown to be from the International Herald Tribune, which is sort of the Paris version of The Boston Globe, a smaller sister of the Old Grey Lady.

The author is Mr Greg Smith, who "is resigning today as a Goldman Sachs executive director and head of the firm’s United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa."  This is a pretty strongly worded piece about a slide in integrity at Goldman Sachs.  The author doesn't appear to pull any punches.  He sets up the basic point here:
It astounds me how little senior management gets a basic truth:  If clients don’t trust you they will eventually stop doing business with you.  It doesn’t matter how smart you are.
This is where he puts it all together:
Leadership used to be about ideas, setting an example and doing the right thing.  Today, if you make enough money for the firm (and are not currently an ax murderer) you will be promoted into a position of influence.
Integrity is important.  People will follow someone with integrity.  People will engage in pillage with someone who lacks integrity but has an eye for available assets.  But, they won't "follow" that person very far.

UPDATE:  A key question is why the change in corporate culture and here is a plausible explanation.

Regards  —  Cliff

PS:  A nice turn of phrase about "ax murderers".

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