I think we are a product of all our experiences.
I think the American Dream says that anything can happen if you work hard enough at it and are persistent, and have some ability. The sky is the limit to what you can build, and what can happen to you and your family.
Details create the big picture.
You can't control income. It varies based on conditions outside of [your] control. But you can control expenses.
What turned me on then, and turns me on even today - and when the time comes from me to retire from management I think I'd still be interested in it - is that everything that happens in the world affects the price of securities.
I believe in treating other people with respect. My style is to speak to people, be available to them and willing to answer their questions. This also means being straightforward and honest with them.
The more we can do to create a better society, that benefits more people, the better chance we have that our society will continue to grow and prosper.
You never want to think the best things are in the past. You want to get yourself to believe that the best things are going to be in the future.
If we build something great, like we have at Travelers Group so far, a whole host of people benefit.
Learn how to be a loser, because it's important to be a loser to be a winner.
My parents moved back to New York from Florida when I was in the ninth grade.
So it's the kind of business where you can't wait to get up in the morning and read the papers, or listen to what's on the news, and you know, how the world's going to change.
My mother really didn't know a heck of a lot about business. She was a very good mother, that made sure we ate right and we had our cod liver oil, but didn't know a heck of a lot about what I did.
One of the people that I respect the most now, a person I think has done a heck of a lot for this world as a leader, is Margaret Thatcher. She helped create a world that offers us a lot of excitement as we look to the next century.
I'm not as involved in every little thing as I used to be.
Ive been involved with Carnegie Hall for the last 13 years, and Chairman for the last six. I feel really good about what weve done growing our educational programs there, building a board that has made Carnegie Hall really a world-class institution.
A lot of people at Shearson ended up making a lot of money because they had stock or stock options. Their kids were able to go to college, and it changed a lot of people's lives.
From the business point of view, always encouraging the people in our company to own stock in the company, and if we're going to build something great, to have a lot of people share in the benefits of that greatness.
And I thought I'd always like some form of business, I didn't know what kind of business I'd go in.
And it was where I learned how to play tennis and eventually became captain of the tennis team at the school and was on the Junior Davis Cup in New York City.
And learn that when you do make a mistake, you'll surface that mistake so you can get it corrected, rather than trying to hide it and bury it, and it becomes a much bigger mistake, and maybe a fatal mistake.
I believe in giving back very strongly.
I read a lot, but I read about the areas that I'm interested in.
I've had a terrific life, from building one company to be the second largest company in the securities industry and merging that into American Express, and becoming president of that company.
I think life is sort of like a competition, whether it's in sports, or it's achieving in school, or it's achieving good relationships with people. And competition is a little bit of what it's all about.
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