Lessons from Smart People
Gus Levy, Managing Partner, Goldman Sachs
My dad built a huge resort in the Caribbean, Mullet Bay. His board of directors included Henry Ford II, Gus Levy, and Billy Salomon, among others. I had the pleasure, no the privilege, of having access to these amazing men from a time gone. These men built Wall Street and other industries with strong philosophies of how things work. They were set in their ways.
One day, I was sitting in the lobby with Gus Levy, who was waiting for a fax to arrive. I asked him about something or other, and he said, "Chris, if a meeting is longer than 1/2 an hour, then the wrong people are in the meeting. And if you write a memo (the equivalent of today's emails and white papers) that is longer than a page, you have no idea what you want or what you are talking about."
I never forgot those lessons. I always wrote short memos throughout my business career, and I generally write short emails.
Friday's blast is about making sure you are concise. We are all busy - much busier than back in 1972 when he told me this. His lesson is a core value of Blue Shoe's methodology. We do 15 Minute Friday Webinars. We schedule meetings for 15 minutes or a half an hour. Our emails are short, and we tend to only address one thing in them with the subject clearly stating what that one thing is. Lastly, we generally do not hit 'reply' to all. All is never anything other than too much.
So, a big thank you to mentors like Gus Levy, who I was lucky enough to encounter.