THOUGHTS FROM "WALL STREET'S HONEST MAN" (so dubbed by Forbes)
Yesterday I attended an interview style talk with JAY S. FISHMAN, Chairman and CEO of The Travelers Companies, Inc., at Baruch College's annual program named for prominent alum Burton Kosoff and set up by his wife, Phyllis. Fishman was notably straightforward, authentic, down-to-earth - and interesting. Here are some nuggets for all four of the generations attending and beyond.
- “No one plans to go into insurance. I just wanted to pay the rent on my apartment.”
- “Life is always two ways.”
- “Sandy Weill (one of his mentors and bosses) was unbelievable about asking everyone ‘What do you think?’ He understood collaboration.”
- About experience: You need touch points and instincts to have the capacity to be accountable in an organization. This is separate from intellectual capacity. (slightly paraphrased)
- “As a leader, be careful what you ask people to do. They will try ther best to do that. You might not like how they do it.” (i.e., what they do to accomplish what you ask them to do)
- Fishman worries about our being a generation of “here and now,” wanting the newest thing all the time. Not saving.
- People need to be involved and engaged, not just contributing to charitable giving.
- In response to the question: What is the best mentoring role we can play? “Honest feedback is a gem.”