Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein finally revealed what he does during the weekends,
in a new video posted by the investment bank.
During a discussion with the summer analyst class, one of the London-based interns pointed out that Blankfein had said he likes to read a lot of biographies and many of these books tend to discuss the subjects daily habits.
So the intern asked Blankfein to spill about what he does on the weekends.
Blankfein told the group that he’s constantly travelling around the world and reading massive briefing books along the way. He also has to take a lot of calls and answer emails throughout the weekend.
As for his social life, a lot of his friends tend to be other industry leaders.
Sometimes, though, he prays for rainy days so he can just chill on the couch.
It sounds pretty intense, but that’s probably part of the job.
“This job is pretty consuming. Last week, I mean I don’t want to tell my sad story to you. But last week I was in China, since I was so close I stopped in on Sydney on the way back, which is only 11 hours away in the wrong direction. So I spend a lot of time at this and on Saturday I go to Europe again. When I’m on the plane, you think I’m reading all those…See, people say things that are different from what they do. I tell you how I like to read this stuff. But I’ll tell you when I’m on the plane I’m reading my notes for the meetings I’m going to have.
“If you look at what I do, I go out I like to run and laugh and jump with the other boys and girls and play golf and do all those things and talk to my kids and lie on the couch. Sometimes I pray for a rainy day so I don’t feel guilty about lying on the couch is what I really want to do.
“But come Sunday, which it may be depending on the time of the year, the football game will be on or I’m doing it in the morning or the early evening I’m living my next week. I get big briefing books over the weekend with the meetings that I have and notes on it and who they are and they may expect that I know something and I will and I do. There’s consequence. It’s not just window dressing. I’ll get caught up. But that takes time. And I can’t do that five minutes before I’m scheduled to see somebody because my day goes blump, blump, blump…So on Sunday I go through my week and I remind myself during the week…”
“Also, the weekend and off time is the time when people sort of like lining up for approvals. Everyone knows there’s a lot of processes, commitments, committee…. Let me tell you, those committees are the last step in the long process because there’s a lot of trial balloon and testing and socializing some things. So if somebody has a kind of a hairy situation or a context of whether they’re worried we should do this or not or whether if will get approved or not, you’re working on that long memo now at this stage in your career. In the course of that memo evolving, people are testing and trying out ideas. That happens a lot on the weekends. There’s a lot of voicemail traffic back in forth. “I’m thinking of doing this in this country with these people. This is a little sketchy because of this. We’re taking a risk here. The client really wants us to do that. I’m not so sure. What should we advise? What business election? Should we choose this client or that client to represent in an auction? you know etc.” Those things get socialized. Now that’s just a word…Means there’s a lot of conversation and dialogue. And that’s not like that’s what you’re doing. You’re doing other things at the same time. While you’re out and about, the phone rings and someone is running something by you and you’re sort of saying well you’re not giving a final answer this kind based on what you’re saying this is how I’m leaning this is what I’d think. They go away and develop the facts more. They go out and you tell them they better adjust the facts… That’s also a process that’s always happening in this firm. That’s kind of a grey background noise of stuff that’s going on in the firm away from the crisp decision making process you observe and that you prepare for… “
“There’s another element where you get to me my age and you personal and business life kind of converge. So that you can’t be doing what I’m doing and engaging with other business leaders without becoming friends. And when I go out and socialize, just like people you do that you’re friendly with, I do with people who I engage with. Some people you work with and help it’s a crisp business relationship and sometimes you just like people and you develop a personal relationship with them. Sometimes somebody says ‘Is that business or not?’ and I said, ‘You know, hard to figure out.’ Because I’m talking about converging business interests with people and they’re also my social friends that his stage because that’s just the way it is. You go through times in your life and most of the new friends you make are kids that go to school with you, then it’s people you work with and then it’s the parents of the kids who your kids are going to school with and you get to another stage of your life and it’s business relationships because that’s what’s filling up your plate.”
It sounds like a lot.
However, Blankfein compared this lifestyle to listening to music and doing something else at the same time.
“You’re not starring at the speaker listening to music, you’re doing something else,” he said, adding, “A lot of this stuff is just — people say multi-taking — I think of it as white noise in the background of your life.”