Is the iconic character Gordon Gekko played by Michael Douglas correct when he said “Greed is good?” All leaders are faced with this question. In essence, we must determine if we are going to serve others or serve ourselves.
I loved the new Wall Street movie. The acting is ridiculously superb and there are a couple of interesting twists I didn’t see coming. It is a great look of human behavior and character.
The Gekko character is famous for his quotes. This movie is full of statements and principles for leaders to ponder. All the quotes below are from Gordon Gekko unless otherwise noted:
- When Gekko was released from prison along with some fellow inmates, everyone had someone to pick them up except for him. Is having all the money and possessions in the world worth losing your family over?
- “Spend as much time with your kids as you can.” – Lewis Zabel played by Frank Langella
- Is anything in business worth dying for?
- “You are the Ninja Generation. No income. No job. No assets.”
- “Greed makes the bartender buy three houses.”
- “Bucks + Steroids = Leverage”
- “The mother of evil is speculation.”
- “Three words. Buy my book.”
- “Energy is the next bubble.”
- “Money is a she. She sleeps in the bed with you with one eye open. Next thing you know, she might be gone forever.”
- “The family business is payback.”
- “Time is the primary asset.”
- “Are you a bee? Do you like to sting people?”
- “What is your exact number to walk away?” – Jacob Moore played by Shia LaBeouf to Josh Brolin’s character Bretton James. By the way, I have my number.
- “A fisherman always sees another fisherman from afar.”
- There is a very uncomfortable dinner scene where Gekko introduces himself to someone he previously knew only to not be remembered by the man. We can all be easily forgotten.
- “Parents are the bones where children sharpen their teeth.”
- “Insurance is like getting kids to buy crack in the playground.”
- “Moral hazard is when they take your money and then are not responsible for what they do with it.”
- “It’s not about the people. It’s about the game.”
A few final thoughts from the movie:
- There is a difference between rehabilitation and repentance.
- If you go looking for blood, you will find it. Revenge is never an answer.
- The most influential relationship a person has with their father. It colors all other relationships. Girls often grow up and marry someone just like their father.
- No matter how bad things can go in your life, you can always come back.
- I’ll end by answering the question I started the post with. Gekko is wrong. Nothing good comes from greed.
Simple question, do you agree with Gekko’s (and my) comments?
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