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James P. Gorman Quotes

James Patrick Gorman

James P. Gorman quotes: the Morgan Stanley CEO sounds off.

“The people who succeed are the ones who are the most passionate about their given jobs, not necessarily the most intelligent.”

“Don’t follow the career path based on what your friends think.”

“You can’t operate a business running at a loss, and particularly if you’re doing it by paying yourselves. It just doesn’t fly.”

“Take calculated risk.”

“I think in life and in business it behooves you to take catastrophic risk off the table. Once you take catastrophic risk off the table you can do lot of other things besides.”

“Having in your gut and your heart a confidence that we’re making the right decisions, and everybody else is going to figure it out eventually, which is—sounds arrogant, but it’s a balance between confidence that you’ve got a plan, and you’re going to push on that plan and then getting the employees excited behind that plan. That’s the positive.”

“Have a plan. During crisis moments, people listen to the calm leader.”

“Stay fit, mentally and physically.”

“Be willing to make decisions with imperfect information and under time constraints. Then move forward to the next decision.”

“If you underperform for your owners, eventually they pick up their bat and ball and go home.”

“Look, you deal with the choices you are confronted with.”

“Whatever it is that comes through those gates, we stand together.”

“I think everyone understands the world has changed. But to those not satisfied with their compensation, I say, ‘You’re naive. Read the newspaper, number one. Number two, if you put your compensation in a one-year context to define your overall level of happiness, you’ve got a problem which is much bigger than the job. And number three, if you are really unhappy, just leave. I mean, life’s too short.'”

“I’m not that interested in just being around powerful people for the sake of it.”

“If you put the advice and the client together, that tells you what your DNA is.”

“Bring together team members whose blended strengths make up for your weaknesses.”

“You live for these moments.”

“Like any business, it’s what you do in managing very talented people. You have to understand what motivates them and respect what motivates them, but at the same time let them know that if you’re on our team, you’re on our team. You’re not an individual; you’re part of the team and you’re going to play by the rules of the team. And we’ll celebrate what you’re really good at, what you bring to the team, but you’ve also got to respect what everybody else is good at.”

“I have a direct way of speaking. What I do is tend to lay out everything; I tend to tell people what I’m going to do and how I’m going to do it and what is success for us and what’s not.”

“People follow simplicity. Offer guidance that tells your team what really matters and what you are shooting for.”

“Every now and then, markets behave like schoolchildren. They overreact, they run around like crazy.”

“Supply and demand eventually rebalance. We’ve seen this again and again and again.”

“Let’s be honest: it wasn’t just the banks who messed up. There were a lot of people who tried to buy assets they couldn’t afford. That’s a reality.”

“Cash as a physical entity will virtually cease to exist, with coins and checkbooks consigned to museums. As people conduct their financial transactions on hand-held devices made secure by advanced biometrics, even tipping will be done electronically.”

“Bringing world leaders together as human beings rather than political machines is very important.”

“The downside of being an outsider, is that it breeds mistrust among the insiders. If you deliver, eventually most of them shut up.”

“I think the most important thing about the Facebook IPO is not the IPO; it’s the Facebook part. This is a great American success story and this is the kind of thing that has made this country extraordinary. And the level of innovation, of creativity, and then the financial support to bring what was an idea in a dorm room to be an $80 billion company with billions of people following it and logging on every day, as I’m sure all of you are, it’s just extraordinary.”

“If you consider the contribution of plumbing to human life, the other sciences fade into insignificance.”

“I think anybody who says they don’t care about being liked is lying. I care if my dog waves its tail when I come home. But you’re not going to make everybody happy.”

“If you want to spend weekends with your family, something’s got to give.”

“Find a work-life balance that suits you.”

“I’m pretty invisible, and that’s just fine.”

“I’m a very lucky person. I grew up in a huge family in Melbourne, Australia. And almost by accident, I applied to business school because I wanted to just expand from being a lawyer. I didn’t think I was a very good lawyer. I was the sixth lawyer in my family, and I was the least talented of all of them. They pretty much kicked me out. And, you know, and here you are running a place like Morgan Stanley, it’s a great honor.”

“If I’m complaining about this… occasionally, we’ll come home, and I’ll be sitting with my wife, and she’ll remind me that… I’m in Washington these three days, and then on Sunday morning I’m flying to Abu Dhabi, and then I’m in Qatar and Dubai on the next day, and then I’m flying to Budapest and then to Essen and Frankfurt and then to London. And she’ll say, ‘You know, this is too hard, how is this possible, why are you doing this?’ And I say, ‘Because I choose to. And you think this is hard? How hard would it be if I didn’t have a job and I’m coming home and we’re sitting here all day talking together?’ So she says, ‘Get to Essen.'”

“I’m one of 10 children, and all my brothers call me Jim. And all my sisters… well, they call me something even more affectionate. My mother calls me James, and I do what my mother tells me.”

“I certainly have no regret living in the U.S. The quality of life in Australia is good, but it is bloody good here as well.”

“That is what made America great: that everyone had the opportunity to be a winner. And I think it’s still there. I’m certainly a beneficiary of it.”

“We could all wish the world were different, but it ain’t different. It’s what it is today, and you’ve got to adjust to that.”

Cory Johnson: CEO of a business he has yet to launch. As seen on your mom’s phone. Scaled to 7-figures in seven seconds selling a course on selling courses. Kidding. Watch this.