Saturday, January 12, 2013

Listen to this Great Advice

Let me introduce you to Dr. Zucker, my faculty advisor and mentor.

William Zucker
Dr. William Zucker was the Meshulam Riklis Professor of Creative Management at the Wharton School when we first met in September 1981. He was serving as the director of the Entrepreneurial Center and was my faculty adviser. Other knew him as the founder of the "Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie " Real Estate Center. This Center was the first such center of a major business school devoted to real estate in the United States.
With Ivy League brawn wielding hammers, those interested in real estate expanded their studies by rehabilitating West Philadelphia properties under Dr. Zucker's hands-on guidance.
For me, my story was completely different. 
I went to our meetings thinking about the movie "How to Succeed In Business without Really Trying," hoping that the title could apply to business school, too.
Dr. Zucker wanted to know about my strengths and interests, and so we talked.  He learned that I was good in math; I wasn't intimidated by numbers in any form. We talked about the human activity that was represented in profit and loss statements, the trust and vigilance of auditors signing off balance sheets, and about human nature's confidence in the future represented in loan amortization tables. He saw that real business enterprise could be modeled in computer spreadsheets (I used VisiCalc, a personal computer program made for my Apple II long before Microsoft's Excel) which I could create.

I thought he was going to suggest pursuing finance, accounting, statistics, decision science or operations research instead of entrepreneurial management as my concentration.

 He listened to my goals, heard about my interests, thought about to my answers.
Stay with Entrepreneurial Management.  Take only management classes with group projects that make up at least 50% of your final grade, so you can experience and learn group dynamics and find your voice among your peers.  Next, diversify by taking courses that participate in the WATU Writing Across the University.  These would offer unforgettable opportunities to practice communicating across a wide audience. 

These two suggestions made sense to me. I acted on them.  I looked for and actively engaged in courses from Woman Studies, Philosophy, Regional Science, Political Science, Economics, History to Mathematics and Astronomy, each one exposed me to very different personality types. Leading the group projects was a roller coaster but I learned how to harness the energy and strengths of my cohorts managing to outperform the other groups with the highest grade, in seven different classes.

I embraced Dr. Zucker's sage counsel and began to implement what I heard.  I experienced career changing advice.

Here is the most important and most difficult piece of advice to follow: "To lead people at work, you have to be a great listener. Listen to all the stakeholders of a business: employees, customers, vendors, competitors. If you become known as a great listener, you will have these people as allies who will help you go where you want to go.  You will go together because you can't get there by yourself."

And I heard that great advice and listened to it.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

"The amount of debt that an economy can pay is limited by the size of its surplus, defined as corporate profits and personal income for the private sector, and net fiscal revenue paid to the public sector. But neither today’s financial theory nor global practice recognize a capacity-to-pay constraint. So debt service has been permitted to eat into capital formation and reduce living standards – and now, to demand privatization sell-offs."
"When debtors cannot pay, and when the banks in turn cannot pay their depositors and other counterparties, the financial system turns to the government to extract the revenue from “taxpayers” (not the financial sector itself). The policy bails out insolvent banks by plunging domestic economies into debt deflation, making taxpayers bear the cost of banks gone bad."
"Buyers borrow credit to appropriate “the commons” in the same way they bid for commercial real estate. The winner is whoever raises the largest buyout loan – by pledging the most revenue to pay the bank as interest. So the financial sector ends up with the revenue hitherto paid to governments as taxes or user fees. This is euphemized as a free market."

Friday, October 15, 2010

Before foreclosing, judges must hear out homeowners

Before foreclosing, judges must hear out homeowners: "The couple said Deutsche failed to attach the original note and assignment of mortgage to its complaint; that it collected payments but failed to credit the homeowners; that it deceived the couple when they tried to modify their delinquent loans; and that it 'participated in a full-scale venture to induce the homeowners to borrow funds at exaggerated rates.'
Joshua Bleil, also with Ticktin Law Group, said the case illustrates the widespread problems in foreclosure cases.
'It's the process of the motions for summary judgment that the banks have been using to foreclose en masse, even though we file defenses,' he said. 'It's the rocket docket.'"

Monday, October 11, 2010

Currency Tensions Rising « naked capitalism

Currency Tensions Rising « naked capitalism: "For the US, reducing our trade deficit really means reducing imports of manufactured goods. That ultimately also means increasing exports, but that will take a longer time to put into effect, assuming the US multinational vogue for offshoring can be partially reversed. Before readers start haring on how cheap labor is in Bangladesh, recall that factory labor is only 10% of the final sales cost of most manufactured goods, and sending work overseas involves some offsets (transit time, which reduces flexibility, higher managerial/coordination costs, need to finance a longer production cycle). So in many industries, more flexible, just in time manufacturing could have been competitive in quite a few sectors. The real reason for the loss of jobs isn’t so much worker cost as lack of management imagination and resourcefulness (how fashionable is it in the US these days to be in a manufacturing business? “Talent” wants to be on Wall Street or in Silicon Valley)."

Read the last sentence again: The real reason for the loss of jobs...lack of management imagination and resourcefulness...Talent wants to be on Wall Street.

Observe the following: Wall Street trading used to be the backwater and then became overrun with Talent. If the same Talent flows back to manufacturing, the growth will accelerate in manufacturing again. Until it crashes, of course; but, the rise will happen.

Now is the time to position for the stampede back into manufacturing.

The author of the piece Yves Smith has published a phenominal book "Econned" charting Wall Street's recent adventures.