Sunday, June 05, 2005

The Most Valuable Commodity is...........

(believe it or not) discretion. As financiers, we often have access to trade secrets and other information that is vital to a company's success. In addition to this, we also have the chance to learn about how certain business people feel about other business people, both positive and negative.

While this insight and knowledge has proven quite valuable to me, I am still amazed at the amount of so-called "confidential" information one can learn by just sitting down at a table in a downtown bar or coffee shop and pretending to read a newspaper. I am constantly overwhelmed by the amount of strategic intelligence I can learn from hearing other people spill their guts about clients over a cup of coffee at the local Starbucks. Not only can I tell you who is in trouble, who is buying what but also who is sleeping with their secretary and who is nailing their best friend's husband

So a piece of advice to all of you out there, if something is confidential, do not talk about it in public. Given the fact that there are only about 6 degrees of separation in the world, spilling the beans about something will come back and bite ya in the da' ass (I've seen it)!

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