The Partnership: The Making of Goldman Sachs

I am half way through The Partnership: The Making of Goldman Sachs by Charlie Ellis, and I am really enjoying it. It has been both informative and entertaining. In chapter eleven, Principles, Ellis shares the Goldman Sachs IBS business development guidelines, written by John Whitehead in 1970:  

  1. Don’t waste your time going after business we don’t really want.
  2. The boss usually decides - not the assistant treasurer. Do you know the boss?
  3. It’s just as easy to get a first-rate piece of business as a second-rate one.
  4. You never learn anything when you’re talking.
  5. The client’s objective is more important than yours.
  6. The respect of one person is worth more than acquaintance with 100.
  7. When there’s business to be done, get it!
  8. Important people like to deal with other important people. Are you one?
  9. There’s nothing worse than an unhappy client.
  10. If you get the business, it’s up to you to see that it’s well handled.

I particularly like number four and number six. As one of my coauthors shared before, it is worth reflecting on guidelines or advice whenever smart people suggest it. Despite being only half of the way through, I strongly recommend The Partnership: The Making of Goldman Sachs for an interesting look into the history of Goldman Sachs.