Hot Topic Friday: March, 22 Newsletter

Abundance Accountability Personal leadership Respect



Happy Friday everyone! I wanted to share with you some HOT TOPICS that have caught my attention this week. 

Hot Topic 1: Goldman Sachs CEO reveals the valuable job skill he now struggles to find. 

What it’s About:

CEO David Solomon talks about what Goldman is looking for in talent that may surprise you. The following quotes are instructive:

“’I’ll tell you one that we’re finding less and less inside the firm that I think is an important skill set… Is an ability to write,’” – Solomon in response to a question from Yahoo Finance.

“’The other thing I’d point to that’s so important is there is a real emphasis when people are interviewing around academics and I.Q. I think it’s way overweighted… There should be equal emphasis on E.Q. and how you interact with people, how you relate to people, and how you connect with people.’”

Why it’s important:

Goldman arguably hires to the “best and brightest.” They are totally a service business based on applying top talent. When Solomon says they’re giving more attention to writing skills and EQ, it reminds us that these are important areas even bankers should personally invest in.

Hot Topic 2: The 8-Year-Old Homeless Refugee Chess Champion.

What it’s about: 

NYT opinion columnist Kristof reports on a story of how we can overcome circumstance to excel. Tapping into our passion and aptitude within a supportive environment is a winning combination.

“In a homeless shelter in Manhattan, an 8-year-old boy is walking to his room, carrying an awkward load in his arms, unfazed by screams from a troubled resident. The boy is a Nigerian refugee with an uncertain future, but he is beaming. He can’t stop grinning because the awkward load is a huge trophy, almost as big as he is…This homeless third grader has just won his category at the New York State chess championship… What’s even more extraordinary is that Tani, as he is known, learned chess only a bit more than a year ago. His play has skyrocketed month by month, and he now has seven trophies by his bed in the homeless shelter.”

Why it’s important:

Much of the news last week focused on wealthy families buying access to great universities, either illegally through bribes or legally through donations. This put a bad taste in our mouths. We need Tani stories, and to fight for the benefit that comes from the struggle. Tani wasn’t “rescued” by so called “bulldozer” parents. He was given the opportunity and HE did it. Whether at home or work, let’s not rob people we care for of the bumps. They build character and ultimately confidence… But not when we rush in to take away the pain associated with learning. 

Topic 3: The Right Way to Follow Your Passion.

What it’s about:

There is lots of discussion about the importance of being passionate as a vital and distinguishing characteristic. Yet, there is a difference between harmonious and obsessive passion. Passion should not be valued as “good” by default. NYT contributor Brad Stulberg says

“Put simply: Passion can be a gift or a curse… The good news is that the form it takes is largely up to you… Jeff Skilling, of Enron, and Elizabeth Holmes, of Theranos, oversaw two of the biggest corporate frauds in recent American history. Before the scandal-ridden downfalls of their companies, both were widely celebrated for their passion and obsessive drive, something Ms. Holmes said was a most important asset. Alex Rodriguez and Lance Armstrong, two of the most notorious cheaters in sports, were also two of the most passionate competitors… What all of these individuals have in common is that their passions went awry because of an incessant focus on results, results, results. When the results weren’t meeting their exceedingly high expectations, they turned to unethical behavior to close the gap.”

Why it’s important:

There is an argument for results being everything. And yes, leaders must get results, but NOT without the guidance of values that advance humankind. Stulberg notes: “Obsessive passion — fueled by a longing for external results, recognition and rewards — trouble lies ahead. That’s because people typically crave more. More money. More fame. More medals. More followers.” When we focus with meaning, deep purpose and have harmonious passion, it often leads to great results, but not at the cost of our decency.

And finally! We’d like to introduce you to our mascot, Cecil. 

Here’s Cecil’s Bleat of the Week: 

“The greatest life-lie of all is to not live here and now.” Excerpt from
The Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi & Fumitake Koga.

Bye for now!

– Lorne Rubis

Incase you missed it!

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