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Goldman Sachs partner says you need to be a "glamorous loser"

Finance can be a tough nut to crack. Luckily, you might only need to work on a few things to make the most of it.

Speaking on the Wall Street Lab podcast, Goldman partner Brian Robinson names three things that drive his performance as a business leader. “Impacting clients, scaling the business, and inspiring people.” His commitment to them is almost a dogma. “Everything I do has to fall under those three things. If it falls outside of those three things, it’s not a priority for me.”

Brian Robinson is not only just a Goldman partner, but also runs the firm’s prime brokerage sales team for the Americas. He’s been at the bank for over 13 years and has visited over 90 countries. Mostly for social purposes though, he says.

Speaking for finance in general, he says that he (and his team) have a broad background and have multi-layered interests – and weren’t shy about it. “I did something before this. I might do something after this,” he says. “I think [that is] what it is within a career that make someone successful.” He also defined what he calls his “superpowers.”

More broadly, and perhaps more relevant to those who aren’t business leaders, Robinson has nineteen “High Cs” (more head of sails than head of sales) that everyone in finance should aim to cultivate within themselves.

Being “challenging, commercial, client-oriented, client-centric, cool, collaborative, competitive, creative, cerebral, conduct, character, connected, confident, computational, consistent, calm, coachable, celebratory, curious,” Robinson lists.

He elaborates on competitiveness. “The urge and desire to win is important. Being glamorous when you lose is also important,” he says. But being competitive is more than the dynamic of success or failure. Having a “strong competitive will, will supersede when times get bumpy. And having that team dynamic when you’re also trying to win together.”

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AUTHORZeno Toulon

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