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Michael Maccoby
Scholar

Michael Maccoby

Michael Maccoby is an anthropologist and psychoanalyst globally recognized as an expert on leadership. He is the author of The Leaders We Need, And What Makes Us Follow.

A Jamie Dimon Model

Given the short-term focus of the stock market and the opportunities for huge profits, changing the culture of financial institutions is a Herculean task. Stronger regulations and competent regulators are essential but not enough. Longer-term incentives will help, but smart professionals can game any incentive system.

Changing behavior at financial institutions requires leaders with a clear philosophy, starting with a statement of purpose that translates into how employees are expected to act and how results will be defined and measured. Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, avoided the big losses suffered by other banks. Defining his bank's purpose, he said, "You can certainly sleep at night when you believe you are building an institution by serving clients. I think that companies with too many people trying to make as much money as they can in the short run are the same companies that are no longer around."

Dimon says he wouldn't hire anyone whose main goal is making money, but these are the kind of people that business schools are now turning out. Changing the financial culture in the long run requires regulation, leadership and a transformation of business school education.

By Michael Maccoby

 |  September 16, 2009; 6:52 AM ET
Category:  Economic crisis Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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