Disclaimer: This is not a post meant to condemn, confirm or imply any factual or alleged internal practices at Goldman Sachs. It’s a post about HR and Leadership in the context of a very important current event.
On March 14, 2012, Greg Smith put to pen one of the most public and thought-inspiring (for better and for worse) resignation letters that I can ever recall.
While I do not agree with the method of exposure nor do I believe that this letter – published in the New York Times – should have ever seen the light of day outside of Corporate Headquarters, it would be naive to think that similar discussions are not held in private by countless employees in break rooms, at bars, to their spouses and even to their psychiatrists.
Here are some quotes from the article and questions that I had to ask myself about my organization and I offer you to do the same:
“The culture was the secret sauce that made this place great and allowed us to earn our clients’ trust for 143 years.”
How does your company culture inspire client trust?
“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.”
“Leadership used to be about ideas, setting an example and doing the right thing.”
Do your Corporate Leaders lead by example?
“If clients don’t trust you they will eventually stop doing business with you. It doesn’t matter how smart you are.”
The same can be said for employees. Do your employees trust your organization’s leaders and direction?
“Make the client the focal point of your business again. Without clients you will not make money. In fact, you will not exist.”
What value do you place on your customers and employees, outside of the fiscal return?