Mike Bloomberg: The unlikely mayor
Review: 'Mike Bloomberg'
By Rolf Dobelli, Chairman, getAbstract
Mike Bloomberg's story ranks as one of modern business and political history's most inspiring and instructive tales. Take an average, middle-class man with uncommon vigor. Then, imbue him with the discipline and confidence to take maximum advantage of the great opportunities he encountered in college, Wall Street and, eventually, the electrified world of New York City politics.
New York Times reporter Joyce Purnick's fluid writing style makes this portrait of an ethical, tough, innovative leader flow seamlessly, so readers can easily enjoy and absorb its themes and stories. getAbstract recommends her breezy, deft, comprehensive presentation of Bloomberg's uplifting life story to executives, political strategists and aspiring leaders.
The Unlikely Mayor
Michael R. Bloomberg was born in Medford, Massachusetts, near Boston, into a middle-class Jewish family. His father, William, a corporate accountant, met his mother, Charlotte, an auditor, when they both worked for a large dairy company. William was doting and permissive, so
Charlotte played a larger role in disciplining their son. Years later she recalled Mike as an organized, determined and headstrong kid.
His high school classmates considered him nerdy, given that he was a debate club member and president of the Slide Rule Club. He became an Eagle Scout a year younger than the minimum required age. Today, classmates remember him as bright and reserved, but independent. Bloomberg says he learned his forthright, unvarnished style from his mother who told him and his sister, Marjorie, to "persevere in the face of adversity" and not to let trouble derail their plans. Accept negative events and get on with your life, she would say.
Bloomberg did not become a serious student until after his father died at age 57 in 1963, making Mike the head of the family. A Johns Hopkins University junior at the time, Bloomberg soon became a more focused scholar. He graduated with an engineering degree and went to Harvard Business School. After earning his M.B.A., Bloomberg considered real estate and engineering, but on a friend's advice, he went for an interview at Salomon Brothers & Hutzler, then a "little bond trading firm." In 1966, at age 23, he became the first M.B.A. that Salomon ever hired.
Bloomberg excelled in the atmosphere of the bare-knuckled trading firm, which was known as a "meritocracy" that promoted successful traders. Within a year, he moved into the securities trading unit. By 1973, he was the leader of the "equities desk," a Salomon general partner and a wealthy man. After 13 years, office politics forced Bloomberg out of his trading position. Salomon transferred him to its less prestigious "information services" or technical support department.
This was clearly a demotion, but Bloomberg - by then married and a father - said he never considered resigning. Instead, he turned the insult into an opportunity...
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