Saturday, December 26, 2009

Success Videos: Jamie Dimon at Harvard

I've watched Jamie Dimon's career unfold for over a decade now and it is gratifying to notice the harmony between his articulated principles and the actual results he has achieved. This video is probably the most extensive exposition of his principles that I have found. I'll mention a few points of importance, but the video is well worth watching in full.

Lifted almost verbatim from Denton's "Executive Charisma" is the injunction to treat all employees, from clerk to CEO, equally. Now "equally" , for Dimon, means, with intellectual honesty, without politics, and with loyalty to a vibrant J.P. Morgan, not loyalty to a particular person's job, title, salary, etc.

Another key quality for the leader (and the organization) is lifelong learning. One key quality that emerges over and over in the stories of leaders such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Charlie Munger, and others is the central element of reading as a central activity for any successful person. I would say, in my observation of my fellow human beings, I have never seen any rule more frequently ignored. And they wake up at age 60 and wonder why their life's a mess.

A few other gems: Seek the best models, not the second-best. Continuous improvement. Seek relentlessly for the facts. Seek the full information. Get "the right people in the room"...i.e. the people who will be implementing or otherwise dealing with the results of your executive decisions.

I won't belabor my commentary, please watch this remarkable video.

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