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娆㈣繋鍥炲埌鍦扮悆锛堜笅锛?  

2009-11-01 22:34:00|  分类: 教育 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Hands

 

Next, let’s talk about your hands.

 

Yes, it is easy to want to use them to point to others for faults and mistakes.  But please remember, time is always better spent on identifying our own shortcomings and thinking about possible improvements than trying to find a scapegoat.

 

Yes, it is easy to want to use them to grasp opportunities and get ahead.  But we should also be willing to use them to reach out and help the weak, the poor, and the needed. 

 

Yes, it is easy to want to use them to shake hands on big deals.  But we should also be prepared to use them to take good notes, to write a personal thank-you note, to make a copy, to mark up on a business document, to crack up a financial model, to fill a cup of coffee for your associate, and to open the door for your female colleagues.  A trip of a thousand miles has to begin with that very first step, and great accomplishments are results of doing numerous small things that eventually become those connected dots.

 

I have this friend from HBS who joined Morgan Stanley after our graduation. A year later, I bumped into him in NYC while getting my Starbucks around Time Square.  I asked him how he liked his job.  I was expecting to hear about all these fancy big deals that he was doing.

 

But what he said to me was:  “Well, I learned how to make the people at the print shop happy so they can give my pitch books priorities.”  “How did you do it?” I asked.  “Well,” he said, “I remembered each of their snack preferences—some of them like pizza and others like KFC…and I also remembered the names of their pets and sweethearts.”

 

A few years later, it wasn’t coincidental he was made a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley, one of the youngest in Morgan’s history.

 

 

Feet

 

After your hands, it’s time to talk about your feet.

 

You can use them to kick the tires and test the water.  You can use them to stand tall and firm.  You can use them to dash to an opportunity, but equally important, you can use them to walk away.

 

We must be prepared to walk away from opportunities.  This is particularly salient in China where opportunities pop up like camera lights at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.  However, we must always remember that 99.99% of the opportunities that pop up in front of us are inherently having nothing to do with us, and therefore we should not waste our precious time chasing after them.

 

We must also be prepared to walk way from situations that violate our basic principles and core value, no matter how high the stake is.  Years ago, we were approached by a film and TV series production company that was in the process of raising a major round of financing.  I had known the owner for quite some time, and he was the type of person that would open three bottles of Chateau Laffet of over RMB10,000 apiece simultaneously to show his hospitality and generosity when no one at the table is really a big wine connoisseur.  So not surprisingly, we were offered a handsome fee for helping them close this round of financing.  However, as we dug a little deeper, we realize that their financials were totally cooked up, and their real need was for us to help them cover the funny accounting.  That’s when our conscience began to work.  I told him that while the opportunity was attractive from a financial perspective, it was simply something we couldn’t do.  And we walked.

 

Subsequently, the company found someone else to help them with their cooked-up financials, and eventually took in a hefty sum from a well known institutional investor.  Today, that investor is kicking himself for having made the investment since the projections were totally fabricated, but at least we could sleep well at night for not having played a role in it, and we didn’t lose credibility with him.  In our business, credibility and reputation is the most important asset we have got.

 

 

Hearts

 

Finally, a few words about our hearts.

 

Yes, most of the time, we use our brains to think, to question and challenge, and to come up with answers and solutions to a problem.  But sometimes, we have to use not just our brains, but also our hearts, to make a decision and live with it.

 

Those decisions made by our heats are usually the best decisions we could ever hope to make, because they reflect what we truly believe.  If our brains are powerful machines which help us digest and analyze the gazillion pieces of information, our hearts are the engines of those machines.

 

We as human beings are not defined by our appearance, education, jobs or achievements.  Instead, it is our hearts that truly define who we are.  So let’s hope our hears are soft enough to sympathize, and yet strong enough to stand a Tsunami in our life.  Let’s hope that they are sensitive enough to feel, bright enough to warm, tolerant enough to welcome opposition and challenges, and big enough to forgive even our enemies.

 

Our hearts tell us what to believe and what to question, what to respect and what to disdain, what to compromise on and what to insist upon.  They get us through the long dark hours, and guide us through the numerous do’s and don’ts.

 

A few years ago, I was visiting with a U.S.-based client who is also an avid sports car collector.  He told me this story about his Porsche 959, which was the fastest sports car in the 80s.  Back then, there were only seven of these in the entire United States, and the owners included Bill Gates.  Because the car never quite fulfilled all the legal requirements, it was technically illegal to drive them to the road.

 

One night, his 15-year old son decided to show off this car to his friends after having a few bottles of beer with them.  Well, perhaps he had one too much, before he knew it, he had hit on a tree at a street corner.  The front end of the car was in total wreck.  Not wanting to alert the police, he called up another friend, who helped tolled the damaged car back to his garage.

 

“Then what happened?” I asked my client.

 

“Well, we flew a few engineers from Europe in to help fix the car.” He said.

 

“Did the value of the car diminish?”

 

“No, absolutely not.  You see, that’s the difference between a top-tier car and a regular car.  The value of a top-tier car is all in its engine.  As long as the engine is not damaged, the car could be a pile of iron, and you could still count on its value after fixing it.”

 

Well, let’s hope we all have that Porche 959 engine in ourselves.  That engine, I think, is our heart. 

 

 

Finally, please imagine if you had to spend three days on a lonely planet, away from earth, what would you bring with you other than essentials such as water and food?

 

Your mobile phone is useless since there is no signal there, so you can’t use it to SMS your friends and loved ones.  Your laptop will not be very useful since there is no broad band access and you won't be able to steal vegetable on Kaixin.  You can’t bring your cars since there will be no road to drive on.  You certainly can’t bring your golf gears since there is no golf course and the balls will not fly the same curve anyway.

 

The answer is--you really don’t need to bring anything.  That is--as long as you have a pair of eyes that look firm and positive, a mouth that you can use to encourage others as well as yourselves, hands that can lift stones and make yourself a place to sit and rest, feet that can walk away from danger, and a heart that is as strong as the engine of a Porche 959.

 

Well, I take that back.  Maybe an iPod, but make sure you only have songs with legitimate copyrights.

 

…And make sure to bring some pictures of your family and friends.

 

Because no matter how high or how far you travel in life, your family and friends should always stay at the very heart of that Porche 959 engine.

 

Good luck coming back to earth, and welcome to real life.

 

Thank you.

 

  

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