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Lloyd Blankfein’s Top 10 Rules For Success

Lloyd Blankfein’s Top 10 Rules For Success


– Life is corked. I’m sure all of you have
your lives planned out, and the one thing I can
absolutely guarantee is it won’t work out that way. I accept the world as
it is, and I go forward. If you don’t have passion for your work or the drive to make a better life for your kids and your own, then you won’t have what
it takes to keep you going. You’re going to have to be
flexible and nimble in your life. You don’t buy a thick skin, and you don’t even know you have it until somebody starts
to try to puncture it. Most of the books I’ve read didn’t apply directly to my job or industry but I’ve applied their
lessons in unexpected ways. You also have to peak at the
time it’s an Olympic year. Yeah, you could be the
fastest runner in the world, and it’s an off year. Being successful in business means part of it is try to
guess what’s going to happen, part of it is trying to guess the future. I came home and told my wife
I was quitting and she cried. The people we get, a kind of person at Goldman Sachs, who really wants to be
an influential person. – He’s an American business executive. He’s a CEO and chairman of Goldman Sachs. He’s one of the highest paid
executives on Wall Street. He’s Lloyd Blankfein, and here are his top 10 rules for success. (air whooshing) (heavy object thuds) – Life is corked. I’m sure all of you have
your lives planned out, and the one thing I can
absolutely guarantee is it won’t work out that way ’cause just things happen. First of all, the world
changes in the world of Oz so whatever plans you’re making, it’s based on a static
world that won’t be there because things will
happen, and you’ll change, or maybe you won’t even change, maybe you just
misidentifying yourself now. We don’t know, which is a
perfectly appropriate way to be when you’re young or in my age ’cause who knows? – What would you change about the way that you ended up as the
CEO of Goldman Sachs? – You know, I don’t have that. You know how the mayor just said he looks forward and the next
day is going to be better? And I think a kar-ler-i of that is I accept the world as
it is, and I go forward. I mean I could do an archeological dig but I can’t go back and change it so I don’t spend a lot
of time fussing about it. I want to learn from it but I don’t want to wring
my hands and incriminate so it’s never, “I wish I were taller, “I wish I could run faster.” – Wish you had a lower handicap? – Wish I had a lower handicap.
(laughing) I have plenty of handicap but not the low one in golf that I want. But I don’t spend a lot of
time thinking about that but if you put me to it, I’d tell you another thing that anybody who had a
chance to revisit the past with what he knows now would be crazy not to do it but it’s just not available so how much time are you
going to spend on it? In my career, I’ve been
fortunate to know and work with many of this country’s
top CEOs and business leaders. I’m always struck by a certain
passion that defines them. While they may be wealthy and powerful, their passion goes beyond money and power. I won’t stand here and tell
you that those are bad things. They’re pretty good but only if you have a
larger purpose in mind. If you don’t have passion for your work or the drive to make a better life for your kids and your own, then you won’t have what
it takes to keep you going. You’re going to have to be
flexible and nimble in your life. That’s the characteristic you want to get. It’s not important whether
you know what the product is, or sure, or what’s hot and what’s not, or how to execute this particular thing. You need to learn business, and you need to learn how to
question and have an open mind. You need to know the process
of thinking about things. You notice how people can go around and be an investor in the industry, turn around and without doing anything, be a great investor in another industry, or some CEO who one day is
running Ford Motor Company, and then can run Boeing
or different industries? The most important thing is not the particular characteristics of a particular industry or thing, it’s how to be a good CEO just like it’s how to
have presentation skills, how to be a good manager, how to be a good subordinate, how to be a good partner, how to use people, how
to be usable by people. And those are the things
that you have to learn. Now you can only learn it. You can’t learn it abstractly, and you can’t really learn it in school. You have to learn it by doing but you have to take those
lessons and extrapolate it. So the things that I did in the markets. And the context of even in
investment banking and advisory, those are entirely different things 30 years ago than they are today. They’re different five years
ago than they are today. We talk about time of great change. Okay. Every time is a time of great change. And I will tell you, and the technology is driving it. And you don’t know. Everybody always
remembers getting it right when they thought forward because you always acquire it, after acquired information always affects your views. You don’t remember what you used to think. And so that’s just the nature of things. And the people who’d be
successful in their lives are the people who are the most flexible, who can absorb the most, who are open to learn, who are coachable, who are not too proud
to dig in to new things. Who was an entrepreneur where everything is a smooth ride, and you go through these things, and I tell you and you get criticized and you have to have a thick skin. Yeah. (laughing) – [Interviewer] You’ve been there? – I’ve been there. (laughing) And by the way, you
don’t buy a thick skin, and you don’t even know you have it until somebody starts
to try to puncture it, and then you discover what you’re made of. Be a well-rounded, complete person. Many of you will go for further
educational career training. Of course, it’s important to learn the things that you need to make a living but don’t forget to read
and to learn history, literature, and about current events. You’ll be more interesting to others, more interesting to yourself, and you’ll be more successful in your job. Most of the books I’ve read didn’t apply directly to my job or industry but I’ve applied their
lessons in unexpected ways. If you’re an Olympic athlete or something like you get to the high, you also have to peak at the
time it’s an Olympic year. Yeah, you could be the
fastest runner in the world, and it’s an off year, and so by the time you get to the Olympics three years later, you aren’t anymore so there’s a lot of luck
involved in things in the world. I never lived my life
thinking about my next job because I was always in
the last job I could have as far as I could tell, and I think it’s a huge advantage for you to live in the moment, and
not to be seething too much. I mean obviously you plan even though your plans never work out but the secret is to do a great
job with what you’re doing. You know, what you should do is you should perform as if
you were in your next job but not seethe with the
ambition to get there, and project that. You make people nervous as hell and you kill yourself. When I was in high school, I went to, because you heard all those
advisory boards, I was at, went to Harvard College,
Harvard Law School, and when I went to the college from the high school I came from, it never dawned on me that I’d get into that
kind of an Ivy League. It just didn’t happen but I applied, and I never thought about
it after really I applied ’cause it wasn’t on my scope, and so when I got a letter, I didn’t have any anxiety to it, and when I got that letter, I just was like ecstatic and like this, and then my mind opened up. Even the process of that was great. When I was in college, and I applied to law school, I went down to the mailbox every day. I knew the consequences of it. I was with a bunch of
people who also wanted it, were vying for it, and I was
like torturing myself over, and I was imagining what if I do get in, what if I don’t get in, what are the consequence
of getting in or not? And I tell you it affected my life, and it affected the functionality. That’s a difference. I tell you if you could
approach every opportunity like I did the college one, you’ll be better and you’ll be happier, and if you live the life tormented about what are my
prospects for the next one, when life is random, and there’s some chance
involved in things, you’re going to be tortured. Being successful in business means part of it is try to
guess what’s going to happen, part of it is trying to guess the future. History is as important as economics. – Okay. – Right? In other words, being able to see, “Gee, this period of time, “it’s not the same as the
1980s but it’s like it.” I remember another time
when politics were poisoned, or this or that, or this
situation in the world today, or the conflict we’re
seeing in the Middle East, how was that in the
temperament of the times, and the reaction it produces compared to the period of time when everybody was worried
about the rise of Russia, or the rise of, what’s that like? In other words, nothing is new. Everything of course is different but the cycles repeat, and I think the study of history gives you a feeling, knowing that nothing stays the same and everything is evolved,
nothing is static, that’s an important lesson to learn. If I want to be good in economics, I’d want to know economic history. If I want to be a good scientist, I want to know the history of science, and that would maybe help me understand the receptivity of the world to advances today and why
some things get accepted and why some things don’t. Yeah. I thought so. Anyway that’s just my
prejudice and my background has made me appreciate
knowing the history of things and not just the science of things. After college, I went to
law school for three years, and then into my dream job at a big New York law firm but even though it had been my dream, I didn’t like it once I got there. For the first time, I was
feeling financially secure but I knew I wasn’t passionate enough about what I was doing, and because I didn’t love it, I would never be fulfilled from it, or be really good at it. Someone who loved it more would have greater enthusiasm and focus. For some, it was fun. For me, it was always going
to be a horrible chore. After five years in a law firm, I decided I wanted to
try something different. I came home and told my wife
I was quitting and she cried (audience laughing) and not out of happiness. (audience laughing) Anyway it worked out. I got a new job at a small Wall Street having been rejected at every other one. We got put out by a larger firm, and I ended up remaining at
that large firm Goldman Sachs. Hear the question, why do
you think Goldman Sachs is better than everybody else? – I do what I assume. I assume you had the best people. – ‘Cause we recruit and
hire the best people, and more importantly
because we retain them, and the reason why we retain them, and the reason why we
get the best people is, and I believe this. – [Interviewer] I want you to say it. – You got to let me say this. Because we get people who
are really interested in doing something that they think is good for the public, for the world they’re in. You mentioned earlier my predecessors who became secretaries of treasury. I could take you back and give you 100. The people we get, a kind of person at Goldman Sachs, who really wants to be
an influential person, who wants to do something
that’s important, who feels that the job– – [Interviewer] Who
would make a lot of money and then go out and do good? – The people that we have would like to do well for themselves also but most of them, at the
height of their careers, go into public service. I mean the record is repeated not just in the US but
all around the world, not just at the top of the firm but in the middle of the firm. – So you’re saying the
secret to Goldman Sachs is that they hire the right people? – Right, we hire the right people, and retain the right people, and at certain times,
lose the right people and make room for other
right people to come in. – Thank you so much for watching. I made this video because
Martel Thomas asked me to. So if there’s a famous entrepreneur that you want me to profile next, leave it in the comments below, and I’ll see what I can do. I also love to know which
of the top 10 rules today hit you the hardest,
meant the most to you. Leave it in the comments below. Join the discussion. And my personal goal in this channel is to hit one million subscribers so anything you can think
of to help share the videos, spread the message, tweet it @ThePlaylist, I’d really, really appreciate it. Thank you, guys, so much for watching. Continue to believe,
and I’ll see you soon. (air whooshing) (heavy object thuds)

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48 thoughts on “Lloyd Blankfein’s Top 10 Rules For Success

  1. hey Evan! Thanks again for an awesome video. My favorite was , do what you love! and Happiness e tough skin…It's tough when you want to help others without them really knowing your doing it……But hey, you guys are teaching me I'm right where I should be …..
    Just keep on believing in "GoodStuff"
    Great job brother!
    #bta6

  2. Live in the moment really stood out to me because I'm always so worried about what's next and not focused enough on what I am already doing.

  3. Evan you are making a terrific job. The whole concept is amazing. The motivation, that arise from sweat, détermination, efforts, résilience of each of the person you portrated is inspiring. Many thanks. Support from Paris, France.

  4. Goldman Sacks do-gooder, at the height of career, will go to public office to better the world. Certainly, this is not found among Bear Stern. Thanks. #BTA137

  5. Thanks for creating this video, Evan. This means a lot to me. Two rules that stood out to me were be flexible and nimble and have a thick skin. I selected those two because those who are flexible and nimble, or adaptable always catch the opportunity first. I selected have a thick skin because in business, there is competition and that competition will always try to throw you off course. Anyways, thanks again Evan.

  6. People who took out loans they could't pay are the biggest engineers of the crisis. Can't blame GS and other's who knew the game was going to end. Great video Evan

  7. When I wanted to know why a decent standard of living was so expensive…I listened to Elections…and Bernie Sanders

  8. You got number 10 wrong, its not to hire the right people. It is to Be an Influential Person, do something to make a difference

  9. Bro, how about a top 10 for Bernie Sanders, JB Straubel, Gwynne Shotwell, Michael Dell, Ram Charan, Bill McDermott, Sal Khan, Nassim Taleb, John C Bogle, Ray Dalio, Gordon Ramsey, John Paulson, Hank Paulson…

  10. Shut up faecal bacteria. If you are seeking Beeing succesfull in business you are already a nazist criminal. Feeble minded, moron. Second hand toilet paper.

  11. #10 – discourage, bully, threaten and criticizing one's success is what I see what's happening instead of encouraging, pushing, inspiring and motivating one success. Therefore, I say trust no one because everyone wants your lunch,unfortunately

  12. Hi Evan, can you please make one about Chinese/Asian Entrepreneurs, there is a lot of them who succeeded in ver hard situations…

  13. The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

  14. I do love a comedian, hires the best people, …Jose Manuel Barroso….. Best people for lining their own pockets. You just couldn't make it up.

  15. Dude, do one for Jamie Dimon. He is the next biggets wall street legend. Plus with his blunt and straightforward attitude, I would love to hear and see what he advises us young people

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