Stephen Schwarzman Hung Out a Shingle.Then He Waited.
The appropriately titled King Capital was a story about Blackstone and how Stephen Schwarzman built a world class investment management organisation. Now, you can hear it straight from the horse’s mouth in Schwarzman’s new book What It Takes: Lessons in the
Pursuit of Excellence. Here’s a two-part excerpt of the book from The Institutional Investor. If you would rather not get bored with a painful yet thoroughly enjoyable journey of raising a fund or building a business in general, here’a compilation of Schwarzman’s words of wisdom that all of us can use irrespective of what field we are in. A lot of it resonates with what we aspire to build at Marcellus:
- Believe in something greater than yourself and your personal needs. It can be your company, your country, or a duty for service. Any challenge you tackle that is inspired by your beliefs and core values will be worth it, regardless of whether you succeed or fail.
- Never deviate from your sense of right and wrong. Your integrity must be unquestionable. It is easy to do what’s right when you don’t have to write a check or suffer any consequences. It’s harder when you have to give something up. Always do what you say you will, and never mislead anyone for your own advantage.
- Never get complacent. Nothing is forever. Whether it is an individual or a business, your competition will defeat you if you are not constantly seeking ways to reinvent and improve yourself. Organizations, especially, are more fragile than you think.
- Sales rarely get made on the first pitch. Just because you believe in something doesn’t mean everyone else will. You need to be able to sell your vision with conviction over and over again. Most people don’t like change, so you need to be able to convince them why they should accept it. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.
- Don’t lose money!!! Objectively assess the risks of every opportunity. Worrying is an active, liberating activity. If channelled appropriately, it allows you to articulate the downside in any situation and drives you to take action to avoid it.
- It’s as easy to do something big as it is to do something small, so reach for a fantasy worthy of your pursuit, with rewards commensurate to your effort.
- The best executives are made, not born. They never stop learning. Study the people and organizations in your life that have had enormous success. They offer a free course from the real world to help you improve.
- Information is the most important asset in business. The more you know, the more perspectives you have, and the more likely you are to spot patterns and anomalies before your competition. So always be open to new inputs, whether they are people, experiences, or knowledge. Information is the most important asset in business. The more you know, the more perspectives you have, and the more likely you are to spot patterns and anomalies before your competition. So always be open to new inputs, whether they are people, experiences, or knowledge.
- Recalling this on my sixtieth birthday, Pete said that one of my unique qualities is that my “goals are so demanding and dynamic that sometimes it is even hard for me to accept yes for an answer.”