And that’s just one of the amazing, inspiring and self-congratulatory stories with which 81-year-old Sandy Weill—who stepped down as Citi’s CEO the year the first proper BlackBerry smartphone was released—sent out this year’s crop of UC-Davis MBAs into the world.

Sanford “Sandy” Weill has never owned a BlackBerry and doesn’t send emails. But that didn’t stop him from connecting with people who worked for him, the former Citigroup Inc. chairman and chief executive told a class of 212 graduates last Saturday….

Mr. Weill told the graduates that six of the big financial companies in the U.S. are run by people who used to work for him, including James Dimon, the chief executive of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

“You can go work for Goldman Sachs and make a lot of money or you can work for me and look at it as continuing education,” Mr. Weill says he told Mr. Dimon when he was recruiting him from Harvard Business School in 1982. “You’re going to make a little more than a secretary, but you’re going to learn a lot.”

Now that the patting-of-himself-on-the-back portion of the speech is over, let’s talk a little about you guys getting a piece of paper from UC-Whatever: It’s the required commencement platitudes!

– Be a team player. Teams are the ones that really win.
– Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. If you’re not willing to make a mistake, you’re not going to make the right decisions.
– Don’t be afraid to surround yourself with or hire people who are smarter than you…I’ve had a lot of people working for me that are smarter than I.
– If you don’t understand something, don’t do it. Like Warren Buffett talking about derivatives…he was right, it didn’t make any sense.
– Make long-term commitments to the things you really value. Be consistent.
– Don’t do anything you’d be embarrassed about seeing on the front page of a newspaper three years hence.
– Find a great partner to enjoy life with.
– Whatever you do, be passionate about it. Always keep a sense of humor.

Life Lessons From Former Citi CEO Sandy Weill [WSJ MoneyBeat]

14 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (14)

  1. Posted by Guest | June 17, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    Simple advice for one to be happy – I like it. One just needs to be passionate about something to work hard, one just needs to be loved, and one just needs to be happy (it is a choice)

  2. Posted by Bandersnatch | June 17, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    Shaz
    It seems strange to say this but that was good.
    Keep it up,
    B

  3. Posted by Im_a_Dude | June 17, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    What did Sandy do, cut out the self help ideas from Readers Digest?

    Nobody really gives a shit about what this old schmoe says. Shaxar, if you're going to post about how Sandy was so smart and convinced Jamie to work for him, you need to include how Sandy ended up tossing him out to make room for his daughter, Jessica Sideclops Bibliwicz.

  4. Posted by Mr Sandman | June 17, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    Never create the biggest most disjointed conglomerate where no one know half of what the fuck is happening until its too late. Oh and stay away from short term funding when you are long 300 billion of shit CDO's. Other than that good luck!!

  5. Posted by guest | June 17, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    Get off my lawn!

  6. Posted by Jeff Mackerel | June 17, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    Tell the lawn to get off me!

    horny landscaper

  7. Posted by Kant_Quant | June 17, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    Christ, what would possibly cause UC-Davis to think that the most incompetent CEO of all time was a good choice for a business-school commencement speaker? It'd be like if Stanford got Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina to give a speech on how to run a tech company…

  8. Posted by Captain Oblivious | June 17, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    Or Mozilo giving a speech on creating value in the housing market.

  9. Posted by Guest | June 17, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    Fortunately most UC-Davis grads thought he was the guy who played Grandpa Munster.

  10. Posted by Will Ferrel | June 17, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    I drive a Dodge Stratus!

  11. Posted by Guest | June 17, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    If you don’t understand something, don’t do it. Like Warren Buffett talking about derivatives…he was right, it didn’t make any sense.

    When did he do this?

  12. Posted by Guest | June 17, 2014 at 5:48 PM

    Don’t do anything you’d be embarrassed about seeing on the front page of a newspaper three years hence.

    So if the scandal erupts within a year, then it's ok?

  13. Posted by Gold Pass Admin | June 17, 2014 at 8:08 PM

    Commenters who have a Dealbreaker "Gold Pass" get immediate access to the Dealbreaker online quote vault and can research public sayings, quotes, anecdotes, rumors and asides of every prominent billionaire ever quoted. Be sure and get yours today!

  14. Posted by B Iteme | June 18, 2014 at 8:01 AM

    Is it me or does Sandy look like Hesh Rabkin's twin? No wonder why Sandy's bank charged such a high vig.