The CEO of Goldman Sachs says Wall Street and the NBA are strikingly similar

  • Wall Street and the NBA are both highly results-oriented industries.
  • But Goldman Sachs leadership is focused on long-term results, while the NBA values daily performance.
  • That’s according to Goldman CEO David Solomon.

Wall Street isn’t so different from the NBA, at least according to Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon.

On an episode of the JJ Redick Podcast, Solomon told Redick (who plays for the Philadelphia 76ers) that both industries are highly results-oriented.

The one major difference? Basketball players’ performance is evaluated after every game. At Goldman, Solomon said, “we’re incredibly results-oriented over a period of time. My job is to deliver good returns for shareholders over a period of time, not every night.”

Solomon explained how that mindset translates into strategy: “We get to put a plan in place that says, over the next three to five years, here’s what we’re going to do and here’s what we think we can deliver. And then we’re going to be held accountable to it.”

Solomon added that this focus on long-term results is a relatively new phenomenon at Goldman. He said, “Our business was a business that was very much day-to-day opportunity set, and as the business has evolved, it’s now a business that requires more investment, more planning, more technology.”

Indeed, Goldman CFO Stephen Scherr said on an October 2018 earnings call, “We intend to take a long-term view to driving strong shareholder returns. This is a key focus area for David and for the rest of the management team.”

Read more: Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon shares his best leadership advice

And as for Solomon himself, he told Redick: “One of the things I’m very focused on, and this is something that any new CEO focuses on at any large company, is what is our plan going to be, and how are we going to articulate it and communicate it and how is the world going to hold us accountable for delivering on it over a period of time?”

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