Everyone is talking about Greg Smith’s buh-bye to his former employer, Goldman Sachs, which was published in the New York Times on Wednesday. Here’s a little flava, for those of you who have been in the wilderness this week without internet or cable teevee:
It might sound surprising to a skeptical public, but culture was always a vital part of Goldman Sachs’s success. It revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by our clients. The culture was the secret sauce that made this place great and allowed us to earn our clients’ trust for 143 years. It wasn’t just about making money; this alone will not sustain a firm for so long. It had something to do with pride and belief in the organization. I am sad to say that I look around today and see virtually no trace of the culture that made me love working for this firm for many years. I no longer have the pride, or the belief.
But this was not always the case. For more than a decade I recruited and mentored candidates through our grueling interview process. I was selected as one of 10 people (out of a firm of more than 30,000) to appear on our recruiting video, which is played on every college campus we visit around the world. In 2006 I managed the summer intern program in sales and trading in New York for the 80 college students who made the cut, out of the thousands who applied.
I knew it was time to leave when I realized I could no longer look students in the eye and tell them what a great place this was to work.
Of course, some people are calling him naive, self-serving, and grandiose–the usual attack-the-messenger allegations of character flaws that are unfurled when people don’t like his message. Maybe he is naive, self-serving, and grandiose–who cares, if he’s telling the truth?
Have any of you ever engaged in a public resignation of this kind? Have you ever written a F.U. letter to a former employer, or given a speech on your way out the door? I did it once– Continue Reading »