Inspiration from Michael Bloomberg
Estimated Lesson Time: 2 minutes
Michael R. Bloomberg (1942–) is president of Bloomberg Financial Markets, Mayor of New York City (2002–2013), philanthropist, and a multi-billionaire.
Success stems from a good work ethic. Mr. Bloomberg financed his own education by taking out loans and working part-time by parking cars.
Success is not without its setbacks. Not too long after joining Salomon Brothers, Bloomberg was made partner in 1972. However, in 1981 when Salomon Brothers was acquired, Mr. Bloomberg was fired.
Success is having the ability to identify problems. Bloomberg became frustrated with the archaic handling of financial data. When he needed past information, he would need to find a copy of the Wall Street Journal from the date in question. The records system consisted of clerks penciling trades in oversized ledgers.
Success is having vision. Mr. Bloomberg’s fascination with technology, along with his knowledge of the financial markets, allowed him to create a computer information system to oversee the management and analysis of securities data. Mr. Bloomberg had created a revolution.
Success is often about slow beginnings. In 1982, Bloomberg L.P. sold just 20 subscriptions to its service; 20 years later, Bloomberg LP had over 165,000 subscribers worldwide.
Success is overcoming obstacles. When running for mayor of New York City, Mr. Bloomberg managed to overcome a 25% deficit in opinion polls to win the mayoral election.
Success is being an optimist. “I’m able to look back, look around me, and just realize that the glass is better than half full. I never understood people who are always looking for the problems.”
Success is not working for money. Mr. Bloomberg took the job as mayor of New York City for $1 per year.
Success is having the desire to make a difference. “There’s no other job in government where cause and effect is so tightly coupled, where you can make a difference every day in so many different ways and in so many different people’s lives.”
Success is sharing. Mr. Bloomberg devotes his time, attention, and financial resources to the needs of New York City, his alma maters, as well as other causes close to his heart. His charitable donations over the years have been in the hundreds of millions.
[Sources: http://home.nyc.gov, http://news.bbc.co.uk, http://www.wnbc.com]
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Some discussion questions (some may not apply to this lesson):
- Have you implemented this idea in your life? How has it been working for you?
- Do you have any interesting stories related to this lesson? Do tell!
- What do you admire most about this person? (success biography days)