I am fascinated by the above infographic that appears in this article. A plurality of Gen-Y says they are going to live in medium to large cities rather than the ‘burbs like their parents and older siblings.
Of course I am biased, because I’ve chosen the yard, white picket fence, and all the trappings of suburban living, but I wonder if this will change as Gen-Y starts to have children. Will they still be happy with small apartments in urban centers or will they want yards, parks, and ball fields?
Corporate Real Estate & Jeff Bezos
I saw the interview with Jeff Bezos on 60 Minutes and was struck with the practicality and toughness with which he approaches business. There is very little messing around and he is pretty matter-of-fact about how competition works. He isn’t a guy that is concerned with how he’s perceived, he’s too focused on winning. This was further amplified by the piece in the Wall Street Journal’s All Things Digital column.
I have been thinking a lot about how the internet will disrupt my industry and whether traditional real estate brokerage will go the way of the travel agent or the car salesman.
While I think we are a ways off from brokers becoming obsolete, I think the way businesses use brokers will evolve. Instead of holding the listing information hostage, brokers will have to become much more focused on providing counsel and direction in increasingly complex transactions.
Worry is misspent imagination.
I saw an article in The Washington Post’s “On Leadership” column discussing how unconventional dress can be perceived as powerful or as a demonstration of high status. But it only works if you’re already a big shot. It reminded me of the above scene from Bull Durham.
"When you win 20 in the show, you can let the fungus grow back on your shower shoes and the press will think you’re colorful. Until then, it means you’re a slob."
The above graph shows unemployment rate data and vacancy rates in Northern New Jersey over the last 17 years. Not surprisingly, there is clearly a correlation between employment levels and office occupancy.
I will be interested to see if flexible working arrangements and technology disrupt this pattern going forward.
Lessons From The Boss
This is not rocket science… It just requires discipline and a little self control.
- Stay consistent. Its easier to maintain fitness than to rebuild it. Springsteen works at his music just as he maintains his health. Through habit, he appears to have avoided major creative or physical lows over many years.
- Find a place and time to exercise even when traveling or when your schedule is busy. You don’t need a gym to maintain your fitness. There are many things you can do with no equipment, no space, and little time—such as burpees.
- You don’t have to be a nut about diet, but it helps to watch what you eat—especially starting in your 40s—so aging doesn’t become a long and slow fade.
- Exercise is great. But being fired up about your job is also important to staying engaged and happy. Sometimes, though, what you don’t do is as important as what you do. At some level, the mystery of Springsteen is how he resisted all the temptations associated with money and fame that have destroyed so many people.
- Find a positive vision and pursue it. There are a lot of white whales out there to get focused on or even obsessed about. Find one that brings out the best in you and those around you and don’t look back.
"Working 100 hour weeks is almost a form of hazing. The mid-level guys think the junior guys and gals should have to go through it because that’s what they went through."
In addition to the fact that investment banks (like all professional service organizations) are competing for talent, the world has changed. Technology has gotten better and people have learned how to work smarter, and not just harder.
Anybody that came up in business 15+ years ago remembers what it was like to try and do research without the internet and compile a presentation without the benefit of PowerPoint.
That doesn’t mean we should just create work so juniors can prove how dedicated they are…