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2009-11-01 22:34:40|  分类: 默认分类 |  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 andmistakes. But please remember, time is always better spent on identifying ourown shortcomings and thinking about possible improvements thantrying to find a scapegoat.

 

Yes,it is easy to want to use them to grasp opportunities and getahead.  Butwe should also be willing to use them to reach out and help theweak, the poor, and the needed. 

 

Yes,it is easy to want to use them to shake hands on bigdeals.  Butwe should also be prepared to use them to take good notes, to writea personal thank-you note, to make a copy, to mark up on a businessdocument, to crack up a financial model, to fill a cup of coffeefor your associate, and to open the door for your femalecolleagues.  A trip of a thousandmiles has to begin with the very first step, and greataccomplishments are results of doing numerous small things thateventually become those connected dots.

 

Ihave this friend from HBS who joined Morgan Stanley after ourgraduation. A year later, I bumped into him in NYC while getting myStarbucks around Time Square.  I asked him how heliked his job.  I was expecting tohear about all these fancy big deals that he was doing.

 

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

 

Afew years later, it wasn’t coincidental he was made a ManagingDirector at Morgan Stanley, one of the youngest in Morgan’shistory.

 

 

Feet

 

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

 

You can use them to kick thetires and test the water.  You can use them tostand tall and firm.  You can use them todash to an opportunity, but equally important, you can use them towalk away.

 

We must be prepared to walk awayfrom opportunities.  This is particularlysalient in China where opportunities pop up like camera lights atthe opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.  However, we mustalways remember that 99.99% of the opportunities that pop up infront of us are inherently having nothing to do with us, andtherefore we should not waste our precious time chasing afterthem.

 

We must also be prepared to walkway from situations that violate our basic principles and corevalue, no matter how high the stake is.  Years ago, we wereapproached by a film and TV series production company that was inthe process of raising a major round of financing.  I had known the ownerfor quite some time, and he was the type of person that would openthree bottles of Chateau Laffet of over RMB10,000 apiecesimultaneously to show his hospitality and generosity when no oneat the table is really a big wine connoisseur.  So not surprisingly,we were offered a handsome fee for helping them close this round offinancing. However, as we dug a little deeper, we realize that theirfinancials were totally cooked up, and their real need was for usto help them cover the funny accounting.  That’s when ourconscience began to work.  I told him that whilethe opportunity was attractive from a financial perspective, it wassimply something we couldn’t do.  And wewalked.

 

Subsequently, the company found someone else to help themwith their cooked-up financials, and eventually took in a hefty sumfrom a well known institutional investor.  Today, that investoris kicking himself for having made the investment since theprojections were totally fabricated, but at least we could sleepwell at night for not having played a role in it, and we didn’tlose credibility with him.  In our business,credibility and reputation is the most important asset we havegot.

 

 

Hearts

 

Finally, a few words about our hearts.

 

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

 

Those decisions made by our heats are usually the bestdecisions we could ever hope to make, because they reflect what wetruly believe.  If our brains arepowerful machines which help us digest and analyze the gazillionpieces of information, our hearts are the engines of thosemachines.

 

Weas human beings are not defined by our appearance, education, jobsor achievements.  Instead, it is ourhearts that truly define who we are.  So let’s hope ourhears are soft enough to sympathize, and yet strong enough to standa Tsunami in our life.  Let’s hope that theyare sensitive enough to feel, bright enough to warm, tolerantenough to welcome opposition and challenges, and big enough toforgive even our enemies.

 

Ourhearts tell us what to believe and what to question, what torespect and what to disdain, what to compromise on and what toinsist upon.  They get us throughthe long dark hours, and guide us through the numerous do’s anddon’ts.

 

Afew years ago, I was visiting with a U.S.-based client who is alsoan avid sports car collector.  He told me this storyabout his Porsche 959, which was the fastest sports car in the80s.  Backthen, there were only seven of these in the entire United States,and the owners included Bill Gates.  Because the car neverquite fulfilled all the legal requirements, it was technicallyillegal to drive them to the road.

 

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

 

“Then what happened?” I asked my client.

 

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

 

“Didthe value of the car diminish?”

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

Yourmobile phone is useless since there is no signal there, so youcan’t use it to SMS your friends and loved ones.  Your laptop will notbe very useful since there is no broad band access andyou won't be able to stealvegetable on Kaixin.  You can’t bring yourcars since there will be no road to drive on.  You certainly can’tbring your golf gears since there is no golf course and the ballswill not fly the same curve anyway.

 

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

 

Well, I take that back.  Maybe an iPod, butmake sure you only have songs with legitimatecopyrights.

 

…Andmake sure to bring some pictures of your family andfriends.

 

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

 

Goodluck coming back to earth, and welcome to real life.

 

Thank you.

 

  

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