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Friday, March 20, 2009

The Gordon Gekko School Of Business

Most people associate Oliver Stone's movie "Wall Street" with the "Greed is Good" mentality that has prevailed since the corporate raiding '80s and decry the ethical meltdown that has befallen our business leaders, personified by the main character, Gordon Gekko. In this respect, "Wall Street" was a case of life influencing art and was a reflection of what was already taking place in society at the time, rather than the cause. The movie "Wall Street" and movies like it that followed, however, also had an "Art Influencing Life" effect.

Godon Gekko
By making "Wall Street", Oliver Stone unwittingly founded The Gordon Gekko School of Business. I know this because I have run into graduates of this school in my former life as a career woman. And, judging by some of the stories my husband brings home from the office as well as family and friends' accounts of life in the business world, The Gordon Gekko School of Business is still churning out graduates at full force.

The problem is not, as you might think, that GGSOB graduates are a group of cut-throat executives who skillfully but ruthlessly navigate corporate America in search of opportunities to exploit for their own financial gain. Graduates of the Gordon Gekko School Of Business are not responsible for our current economic crisis, either.

The problem is that there really is no Gordon Gekko School Of Business; not in the traditional sense anyway, where mundane courses like corporate finance, management, marketing or leadership are taught. The problem arises when GGSOB grads manage to worm their way up the first few rungs of the corporate ladder. Then, for lack of actual business education and experience, simply mimic the high-flying characters they see in Hollywood movies believing that this is sufficient to propel them to the top. Unfortunately, sometimes it is. (I don't blame Oliver Stone for this, making a movie that depicts the actual activities of a company executive, no matter how well run, would be a real snoozer.)

Perhaps you or someone you know has worked with a GGSOB graduate; They are not pleasant people to work with and usually try to use fear and intimidation to get what they want. GGSOB grads will try to exert their power simply to demonstrate that they have it rather than to achieve a meaningful goal or make an actual contribution to the company. They are at best useless and usually end up doing significant damage. They are frauds.

Real leaders inspire. They don't fear talent in others, they harness that talent and use it to achieve the goals of the company. People do what they say because they respect them, not because they fear them.

I wish there was some way to screen for the The Gordon Gekko School Of Business grad, but there isn't - this is not something that will show up on a resume. I found that the best way to deal with them is to steer clear and wait for them to self-destruct, making sure you keep yourself at a safe distance so as not to be hit by the fallout.


PS: Gordon Gekko is number 4 on the Forbes Fictional 15

Daily Coupons:
Today I looked for coupons relating to business and finance - never hurts to know what's going on in the business world!
  1. Here's a coupon from Forbes for something called: "The Prudent Speculator" "Try The Prudent Speculator Risk Free for 6 Months" I must admit I have never read this publication, and am not given to speculating, prudent or otherwise - primarily due to lack of sufficient funds to do so - at least not until our credit cards are paid off - but if there was ever a time to get into the stock market, it's now. The same goes for real estate, IMHO.
  2. Free Quicken Online - Avoid paying late fees with Free Quicken Online bill reminders - Avoiding late fees and penalties is a biggie for me - before I started to actively manage our checking account, we were paying about $1,000 a year for Wamu's FREE Checking. How stupid is that! Now I watch the balance like a hawk. This is a useful service.
  3. This sounds promising too: Quicken Home and Inventory Manager - Her's a Free Shipping Offer.

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