Crossfit, Fitbits, "organic," "gluten-free," "artisanal," "hand-crafted," "farm-to-table" -- we can't get enough! Next year, the health and fitness craze will spread from the gym and the grocery store to our wallets and investment portfolios.
The "rear-view" perspective is hard, but very useful. When HighTower was a young startup, we challenged ourselves to approach strategy and decision-making through the lens of an established, successful firm many years in the future looking backwards.
Too many financial products, promising too much, come to market every day. Investors deserve to be protected by an SEC that takes our financial health as seriously as the FDA takes our physical health.
When you're launching a business that challenges the status quo, there are no referees, no time-outs, no RULES, and no guarantee that someone will "win." You experience excitement felt only by intrepid adventurers doing something for the first time. You're not playing a game; you're pioneering.
There is a need to strike a fine balance between what is a trending new form of employment and the potential continued weaknesses of an economic system. Underemployment, in this respect, is a risk as much as it is an opportunity.
In business, many entrepreneurs and leaders are hardwired for optimism, but hope is not a strategy. Endings are necessary. There's a reason people don't spend their whole careers at one job, or stay close with childhood friends.
In today's world of rampant narcissism and short attention spans, poise and grace are increasingly rare. Don't be the jerk that storms out of the office waving your middle finger. Make your last impression a good one. It will follow you for the rest of your life.
Empathy, often incorrectly used as a synonym for sympathy, may be the better response in corporate life, which increasingly calls for more authenticity. In fact, empathy is considered to be one of the most valuable things taught at acclaimed Harvard Business School these days.
Most of today's society is focused on the maximization of output and respective consumption. We have replaced true happiness related to accomplishment and shared experiences with rather questionable metrics of 'consumptive joy.'
With so few hours in the day, I often find myself making a list, checking off my "to-do's," and then making another. Our clients' lives are also busy, and so I like to send checklists from time to time to keep planning and investments on track.
"It's not personal, Sonny. It's strictly business." Sorry, Michael Corleone. You're wrong. And so are all the corporate phonies who cite this pseudo-proverb from The Godfather as an excuse to avoid taking a genuine and substantial interest in the people around them.
It is evidently a no-brainer, and yet a broadly misunderstood concept: Happy employees make better companies, and better companies (should) make more money. However, translating this formula into reality is an entirely different conversation.
Could it be that the cost of operating a university -- technology, wages and infrastructure -- is rising at triple the rate of other technology, wages and infrastructure simply by being inside an institution of higher learning?