Episode #1342 Anthony Tjan: The Only Decision That Really Matters

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Venture Capitalist, Tony Tjan joins Moe Abdou to discuss why legendary companies value people over ideas, products, and profits.


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Anthony Tjan

Entrepreneur, Venture Capitalist, and Bestselling Author. View Full Profile

Good People - What Does That Really Mean?

When I received an advanced copy of Tony Tjan’s latest book - Good People:  The Only Leadership Decision That Really Matters, I started to frame my own definition of goodness; and thought first of what it meant to be a true friend.  

I had recently re-read Seneca’s ‘Letters From a Stoic’ and vividly remember highlighting the section on friendships when he states ‘..But if you are looking on anyone as a friend when you do not trust him as you trust yourself, you are making a grave mistake, and have failed to grasp sufficiently the full force of true friendship.”  

To me, the very essence of friendship is trust, still in business, that’s far from the norm.  The overwhelming majority of people hardly trust their superiors, and an even greater percentage lack faith in our political leaders.  Perhaps Seneca said it best when he reminded us that most professional relationships aren’t actually friendships, but business deals in disguise. 

“Anyone thinking of his own interests and seeking out friendship with this view is making a great mistake.  Things will end as they began; he has secured a friend who is going to come to his aid if captivity threatens:  at the first clank of a chain that friend will disappear.  These are what are commonly called fair-weather friendships. A person adopted as a friend for the sake of his usefulness will be cultivated only for so long as he is useful.  This explains the crowds of friends that cluster about successful men and the only atmosphere about the ruined - their friends running away when it comes to testing point; it explains the countless scandalous instances of people deserting or betraying others out of fear for themselves.  The ending inevitably matches the beginning:  a person who starts being friends with you because it pays him will similarly cease to be friends because it pays him to do so.”   

Few understand and adhere to the depth of this thinking as Tony Tjan.  I urge you to not only pay close attention to this conversation, but to follow him, read his books, and to inject a sense of goodness into your everyday dealings; particularly in business dealings.  Here’s a glimpse of what we discuss:  

  • What is goodness & how do you recognize in others?
  • The three pillars of goodness - Truth, Compassion, and Wholeness 
  • What to do when you feel the walls caving in?
  • The single most desirable trait within the foundation of truth?
  • How to injection compassion into your organization
  • Love is not a word you hear in boardrooms - what are we afraid of?
  • What leaders can learn from Tom Brady
  • Resources: