The Sky is Still Falling...Maybe
The beginning of the afternoon at the World Business Forum can best be summed up as a sobering barrage of the pitfalls, perils, and problems ahead of us. David Rubenstein, founder of the Carlyle Group, the world's largest private equity firm, presented a non-stop litany of facts to drive home his admonition that "just because the recession will be ‘over’ soon doesn’t mean it’s all going to be OK." His command of the numbers and their implications was simultaneously amazing and numbing.
Then Jeffrey Sachs took us on a macro view of the unprecedented challenges we face as a result of living in a totally interconnected world, a planet bursting at the seams and not able to sustain itself, a US political system and governance gone awry over the past 25 years, and America's ever dimming presence and influence. Whew. Do we have anything to look forward to? Hopefully.
Two Asset-Based Thinking takeaways:
- Vigilance is Virtue - There still are tough times ahead. Consolidate your assets...personal, relational and situational...so you're ready to face them.
- Cooperation and Collaboration on a global scale will be core drivers of a better future. No man is an island...positive, inter-dependent relationships are valued assets.
T. Boone Pickens: Building Value and Living Your Values
Substance. Style. Soul.
The discussion with Mr. Pickens had the feel and tone of a nice living room chat with one of your favorite uncles or mentors. The interviewer started out with a review of Mr. Pickens' great wealth. Mr. Pickens was quick to point out that it wasn't until he was 70 that he made his “first billion” and to add that his five children and thirteen grandchildren are an equally important measure of his wealth. Now that’s a set of values that all of us should emulate. Immediately, it became apparent that Mr. Pickens views wealth as a consequence of hard work, risk taking, passion, and resilience. Perhaps more important, he believes that building and leveraging a portfolio of softer assets is also essential: listening, connection, service, purpose, and values. He feels that CEOs must have a sense of caring and connection to their shareholders and, unfortunately, most do not, putting themselves before the good of their shareholders. Ain’t that the truth. He really came alive when the discussion turned to his most recent venture, The Pickens Plan For Energy Independence. Mr. Pickens said he does not view himself as an environmental activist. He sees himself in pursuit of his Noble Cause, Security for America though energy independence…the positive environmental impact is an ancillary benefit. Some great T. Boone Pickens Asset-Based Thinking advice: the pursuit of your Mighty Cause and making “profit” go hand in hand. You have to change the way you see profit. It’s multi-leveled. Money. Emotional Rewards. Greater Good.