Sales Cooke had the pleasure of having “lunch” with Jamie Dimon, CEO of Chase Bank and 750 of my closest friends yesterday. I had never met or heard Jamie before. Now that I have, I will admit I found his perspectives in a number of areas right on target. As his comments so inspired me, I feel the obligation to share some:
1. “Businesses are good at wasting money”. He is not as much a cost cutter as he is a “waste cutter”. He enjoys spending money on important things like compensation, technology, sales and marketing, etc. And, wants to do more of it. In order to do that, the company has to be very good at not wasting money. Company waste drains organizations of their productive energy–people see waste and lose morale, resent the fact they cannot obtain good raises because of it, and find better opportunities elsewhere. By focusing on taking waste out of your company you can spend more money on the things that really matter.
2. “Build a great company every day and the share price will take care of itself”. Wow! Great message here. He does not look at the stock price of Chase. He believes that the price will take care of itself if you drive excellence into your business everyday. “We have to be a better company everyday”. His mission is to make sure that Chase is a better company everyday-through service, training, technology, etc. To those business owners worried about profits–focus on excellence and the profits will come.
3. I am not a ‘rock star’, I am part of a team. He resents the fact that he is viewed as the guy who is ‘doing’ all these great things at Chase. He emphasizes that the focus on him as the person accomplishing things at Chase actually diminishes from the success of the great people at Chase who are actually doing the work. Nothing resonates more with SalesCooke than someone who understands that their accomplishments are attributable solely to the teamwork that is occuring within the organization. Good call Boss–you are right on!!
In all honesty, I had no prior understanding of who Jamie Dimon was before my intimate “lunch”. Now that I have had the pleasure, I am going to learn and listen more. There were a lot of other sound bytes of equal value than the ones mentioned here. He has his fingers on the pulse of sound business management and philosophy. Needless to say, it was a great day!