Saturday, December 6, 2008

J. P. Morgan duing the panic of 1907

I have been reading The Panic of 1907: Lessons Learned from the Market's Perfect Storm by Bruner and Carr. They published it at an opportune time because there are parallels between what happened 101 years ago and what is happening today. There are also significant differences.

They start each chapter with a quotation or two. J. P. Morgan was the central figure in stopping the panic, and one of their chapter quotes is from him:
"I do not know what to do myself, but sometime, soneone will come in with a plan that I know will work; and then I will tell them what to do."
This quotation sums up a lot of what we want in leaders. They do not have to know what to do, but they have to be willing to listen and to have the judgment to distinguish good ideas from bad ideas. And then they have to be able to get other people to act on those ideas.

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