Congratulations Goldman Sachs (Employees)

Though I’m not the first in line to congratulate Goldman Sachs for their 2nd quarter earnings, I’m one of the loudest voices cheering them on because Goldman’s performance validates the principal business philosophies and convictions I write about in this space every week. And although I don’t want to appear callous or clueless about the need to effectively manage all stakeholders, it dawns on me that the great story about a great company’s great results is quickly turning into something ugly: compensation and bonus.

Clearly, Goldman’s employees identified and fixed problems in their business, recognized where they could grow to capitalize on current market conditions, set a course of action, and then superbly executed on their plans.

What’s not to like, what’s not to applaud, and what’s not to compensate?

Goldman is setting a standard, showing a way, superbly demonstrating that the right people doing the right job the right way will not simply overcome miserable economic conditions they will shine. This is production that deserves to be recognized and rewarded not tarnished by attention-seeking politicians or a battered public that has been rocked in every conceivable way the past year-and-a-half or so.

Goldman is an inspiration, a strong reinforcement that greatness is often defined by overcoming adversity and always measured by output. Handsomely compensating Goldman employees for their production should be the greatest encouragement for those who are struggling right now…something that should keep them going through these tough times because epic reversals of fortune can and do still happen.

Sure, Goldman benefited from government assistance, but isn’t their ability to wisely use the monies they received, pay it back, and achieve as they have a “you couldn’t have planned it any better” moment?

The people that made this happen each undoubtedly pushed themselves and made personal sacrifices to make Goldman Sachs’ 2nd quarter 2009 as stellar as it was. These people should be properly compensated for what they did and will likely continue to do.

Here’s one small measure of what I mean: each morning I commute into Grand Central Station on Metro North from CT on the 4:22. From there, it’s the 4 or 5 subway to Wall Street where my office is. There’s a regular crowd on this early morning commute and, conservatively, I’d say at least 15% of the people I see every morning are carrying a Goldman Sachs emblazoned briefcase/laptop bag.

However Goldman Sachs decides to split 2nd quarter bonus money is their business and no matter how much gets doled out, their employees have at least earned every penny of it! It’s the proverbial ray of sunlight on this cloudy economic day and my best hope is that many more US companies will soon be faced with the same problems Goldman Sachs currently has: properly compensating their excellent staff for a job well done while motivating them to do even better going forward. Congratulations Goldman Sachs Employees–job well done.

Leave a Reply