Wien: Lessons Learned in 80 Years

Linked below is an article I’ve found myself referencing a couple of times since originally reading it. Byron Wien, the vice chairman of Blackstone’s (BX) private wealth solutions group, has worked in finance since the day he graduated from Harvard Business School in 1956. The post linked below was written shortly after Wien’s 80th birthday. Wien took time to reflect and produced this list of conclusions he has drawn from his time in business. I wrote his 20 takeaways below, but I encourage you to click on the link because he offers commentary on each one.

1. Concentrate on finding a big idea that will make an impact on the people you want to influence.
2. Network intensely.
3. When you meet someone new, treat that person as a friend.
4. Read all the time.
5. Get enough sleep.
6. Evolve.
7. Travel extensively.
8. When meeting someone new, try to find out what formative experience occurred in their lives before they were seventeen.
9. On philanthropy my approach is to try to relieve pain rather than spread joy.
10. Younger people are naturally insecure and tend to overplay their accomplishments.
11. Take the time to give those who work for you a pat on the back when they do good work.
12. When someone extends a kindness to you, write them a handwritten note, not an email.
13. At the beginning of every year, think of ways you can do your job better than you have ever done it before.
14. The hard way is always the right way.
15. Don’t try to be better than your competitors, try to be different.
16. When seeking a career as you come out of school or making your job change, always take the job that looks like it will be the most enjoyable.
17. There is a perfect job out there for everyone.
18. When your children are grown or if you have no children, always find someone younger to mentor.
19. Every year try doing someone you have never done before that is totally out of your comfort zone.
20. Never retire. If you work forever, you can live forever.


For More From the Business World:
-Jobs: “The Janitor and the CEO” (LINK)
-Sacca: Business, Google and Kobe (LINK)
-Leadership Advice from “The Coach of Silicon Valley” (LINK)
-What Sets Successful CEOs Apart (LINK)

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