Succeeding on Wall Street without Selling Out

This morning I talked to a group of about 50 early risers in finance at an NYSSA Friday career breakfast on the theme of “How to Succeed on Wall Street without Selling Out”! Polling the attendees, about half came to hear how to succeed on Wall Street and the other half, how not to sell out!

Caveat that I am not a paragon of Wall Street success. Still having managed to reinvent myself professionally several times, I continue to set new goals as a financial expert and (mostly) achieving them. Which leads me to further caveat about your success. You have the right to define success in your own terms. But not to expect automatic fulfillment by your choices. Fulfillment finds you.

To be successful on your terms and fulfilled, you need to be clear about whether you’re playing a finite or an infinite game. If you’ve read the definitive book by James Carse, you know finite games are linear: they have a beginning and an end, and are played with a goal of winning. The game outcome is resolved based on rules.

Infinite games are nonlinear. They do not have definite beginnings or endings, and are played with a goal of keeping it going and bringing in more players. Let me share with you R&R’s vision of how to transform credit in the 21C into a true infinite game that enhances our quality of life: