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

Lawrence D. Ackman


I could have been a better leader if I’d left line responsibilities earlier and spent more time thinking about strategy to compete successfully. 

A successful leader:

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Marriage & Family

Encourage family togetherness, frequent communications, joyous occasions.

If things get tough in a marriage, don’t give up the first (or second) time there is a problem. Too many marriages are terminated after hitting the first rough spot.

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Growing Older

If possible, don’t retire. Stay active mentally and physically. You’ll be a more interesting person if you are involved in a number of businesses or activities.

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Happiness & Success

Success is:

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Hire the best people.


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Charity & Spirituality

I have lived a wonderful life. I have survived lung and prostate cancer and am feeling great. I believe that G-d has watched over me and my family, and I have been extremely lucky and blessed. 

I have been very charitable. I’ve given far more than most others who have the same resources as I have. I feel that philanthropists are rewarded by G-d and live longer lives than people who are not charitable.

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Life's Lessons

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