So we set the goal:

We say we want to treat people fairly, build an institution that will contribute to the culture and embrace diversity. We say we want to do things right the first time, treat people as we would like to be treated and build something that matters.

But in the interim:

But first… first we say we have to make our company work.

We say we intend to hire and train great people, but in the interim, we will have to settle for cheap and available. We say we would like to give back to society, but of course, in the interim, first we have to get…

This interim strategy, the notion that ideals and principles are for later, but right now, all the focus and resources have to be put into the emergency of getting successful — it does not work.

It does not work because it is always the interim. It never seems like the right time to stop doing what worked and start doing what we said was important.

The first six appointments you make are more important than appointments 100 through 105. The first difficult ethical decision you make is more important than the one you make once you have (apparently) made it.

The difficult conversation you have tomorrow is far more important than the one you might have to have a few years from now.

Exactly how successful do we have to get before we stop cutting corners, making selfish decisions and playing the short-term game?

All the great businesses I can think of started as great businesses. Tiny, perhaps, but great.

You don’t need a degree before you start acting like a professional. The degree merely confirms your professionalism. Once you have seen better, ordinary doesn’t cut it anymore.

In the interim you behave like you have already adopted the strategy.

Life is what happens while we are busy making plans. The interim is forever, so perhaps it makes sense to make act in the interim as we expect to act in the long haul.


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