If I Knew Then Advice on careers, finance, and life from Harvard Business School's Class of 1963

Charley Ellis on Business

Knowing that all people are complex in values, motivations, and objectives, and that groups of people are complexes of complexities, all of which are hidden from view, you will be surprised by wrong behaviors — including your own.

So maintain active reconnaissance and objectivity to catch misbehavior early. Flood the system with positive ethics to prevent or discourage bad or mediocre behavior.

Nobody who has lived by self-demanding high standards has ever said, “I wish I hadn’t.”

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