My 6 Lessons from the Wolf

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“The Wolf of Wall Street”. Fraud, corruption and money laundering are the other side of the coin of an otherwise incredible business management story. The character, Jordan Belfort, builds an empire from an idea. A passionate businessman, he shows how simplicity, diverse competencies, and an incredible team spirit, can fuel a business beyond imagination. Together with an outstanding ability to learn from past mistakes and an utmost care for reputation, he makes our corporate leaders look like ants. It is in his style of leadership that we are left with a trail for success.

Here are my 6 lessons from the Wolf:

1. Find your Passion

The whole tale revolves around Jordan Belfort’s passion about becoming rich. He is amazed by the stock market. This is where and how he will get rich. And he never let goes of that idea. Not even after he is laid-off after “Black Monday”. He sticks to his guts and pursues his dream. Under success, there is passion. A lot of it.

2. Don’t take NO for an answer

Belfort’s ability to pitch crap products to rich people is inspiring. He is 100% dedicated to what he is doing. His attention is on the target. He is like a feline on the hunt. He listens. He is prepared. He knows what to say. When to say it. How to say it. He never gives up. He doesn’t take a no for an answer. And so he gets the job done. Better than anyone else.

3. Hire potential, train skills

We’ve seen this one all over the place “Hire character, train skill”. But Belfort’s focus on getting the right character goes beyond what any organization is doing. He looks for a thirst for success. He looks for himself. A key for leading his team is to be surrounded by similar people to him (check here my related post on building a Great Team). And it is his search for potential, not experience, that allows him to build that empire from scratch. Experience can lead people to go on the beaten path too often. And so, he relies on teaching everyone how he does itrather than letting them do it how they are used to.

4. Reward people to get loyalty

The whole concept of the movie probably revolves around loyalty. The crazy life-style and party frenzy is an extreme, but it is his concept of consolidating the team and rewarding people that fuels his company’s success. He pays above the average and gets his top performers handsomely rewarded: “who wants to become rich?!”. In loyalty lies success. And loyalty is rewarded.

5. Communicate more and better

One of my favorite scenes from the whole movie is when Jordan challenges random people from a crowd to sell him a pen. It just shows how poor sales-whatever are around us. To put it plainly, most people in general don’t know how to sell. And selling is about communication. So bottom-line is that most people don’t know how to communicate. And the world is left for the ones that do. Classic scene.

6. Go all-out on your inspirational speech

Jordan’s passion for the business and what they are doing cannot be transmitted from behind a chair. And it cannot be fueled with lame speeches and useless “team” meetings. He needs to bring it on for everyone on the team. And so he must speak the same language. Shout it. Walk the walk. And make everyone see it. He ignites everyone with winning and passionate speeches. Don’t be afraid to shout it out loud!

4 thoughts on “My 6 Lessons from the Wolf

  1. Good piece. It seems like motivation will work in any field. You have to hire good people and train them the right way. It helps if you believe in yourself and your product, whatever it is. There’s a lack of training out there these days that’s pitiful. Many companies and organizations have chosen “cheap and fast” over “quality”.

  2. Absolutely agree. Sometimes it is even better if a company does nothing at all than to try and do the “cheap and fast” approach. Because that is just corporate hypocrisy. Companies can simply start by providing the proper incentives, allocated active working time and middle management targets for people development. That would already make a big difference.

  3. Another 3 for your collection:

    1. Get the tittle right. The tittle of an email newsletter or an advertorial needs to shine in the eyes of the reader

    2. Less is more. For a product or Service expert all key information may seem relevant and important but for the customer there are only 1 or 2 critical features. Which ones?

    3. Describe what the product or Service can solve, not what it can do. Customers don’t care about the product or the services your selling. They care about what value it brings to them or what need it can fulfill.

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