AUBG Discussion on Goldman Sachs


Think about – culture at Goldman Sachs.

  • How important is for the success of the company? Do you think it fosters talent development?
  • Key words – High standards, competitive environment, feedback seeking, openness to critique, collaborative practices, support for partners, shared acknowledgment for accomplishments, personal responsibility for failures

Question – the traditional model for leadership development at Goldman Sachs.

  • What are the main reasons for the need of a formalized leadership development program? And the challenges for its implementation?
  • Apprenticeship, Informal, decentralized, on the job
  • War for talent, from teamwork to leadership, size issue, make people better more quickly, need for scaling-up new business opportunities
  • Skepticism, opportunity cost of time in the program

Comment on this – what should the program look like and why?

  • Distinct physical location vs utilizing existing space
  • Outside speakers vs internal trainers
  • General leadership skills vs unique Goldman practices
  • Classroom instruction vs developmental experiences
  • Larger vs smaller classes
  • Company-wide vs division based groups
  • Separate classes for different levels of experience vs mixed groups
  • Who should own the program?



I just posted some new trends in leadership developments
In addition:
Generational differences – Millenials will be the new executives
Rise of Collective Leadership – No more “heroic” leaders, “collective” leaders are to be important.Greater focus on Innovation in leadership development methods – new technologies for communication – no more elevator speeches – there is FB, LInkdedin
Transfer of greater Developmental Ownership to the Individual – you are responsible for your own development


It should be a mixture between Outside speakers vs internal trainers, since if it is just internal trainers it will not bring the necessary extent of excitement.

investment banks are mere puffs and as such their operations should not be considered by the financial institutions

What would be the duration of the leadership program? I think one of the challenges when developing leaders in this industry would be high turnover. People seem to burn out quickly:


I think that the best fit for leadership development program is up to 10-12 people

I would support this and will give the following example for a leadership development program at PepsiCo. The program starts with a five-day session for 9
selected executives at a time, in a remote and beautiful location, to cover Pepsi’s
leadership fundamentals, with feedback, in order to develop personal vision and
an action plan. The executives have 90 days to action their plan . They reconvene
for 3 days for coaching, personal leadership improvement plans, reviewing their
successes and failures in executing their plans. CEO leads all this. This is
also rolled out to other parts of the organisation through executive led
development and coaching initiatives.


I would recommend a combined training utilizing external consultant for general management leadership and also e-learning on the unique Goldman practices


It would be nice if external speakers come from backgrounds different from investment banking to add variety and new ideas.

Have you heard about the 70:20:10 rule? A study done by McCall, Lombardo and Eichinger (1996) conducted among over a hundred CEOs concluded that their development came 70% from job experiences, 20% came from interpersonal relationships and 10% from formal trainings. Companies that use it Medtronic, Essilor, SAP, Ernst & Young, KPMG, PwC, Nike, Nokia, Microsoft,Dell, BAT, Oracle, HP, Sony Ericsson, Morgan Stanley,Standard Chartered, NAB, Philips, Avery, Westinghouse, Holcim, Coca Cola Amatil, American Express, Bank of America, Rabobank, Goldman Sachs, ANZ Bank, GAP, Irish Life, Caterpillar, Wrigley, Mars, Coca-Cola, Home Depot, Best Buy, L’Oréal, BT, Boston Scientific, Maersk, Creganna-Tactx Medical, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline,Herbert Smith Freehills, Cranfield University, Princeton University, George Washington University, Nestle, and the Australian Federal Government.