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Paul Tudor Jones Gets Ridiculously Real With Ninth Graders

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When we heard that Paul Tudor Jones had given a commencement speech to the graduating class at the Buckley School on the topic of failure, we feared it'd be some sort of personal growth exercise in which PTJ blathered on about the trauma of last year, and how even though he was down and out, he came back triumphant in '09 (because Tudor BVI Global only lost about 4.5 percent for 2008, a relative win compared to his colleagues in the field, PTJ would have the strength to talk about the humbling experience, unlike those who did considerably worse and aren't ready to go there). Apparently, not so much.
Instead, he told a room of 14 year old boys and their parents about the time he got left at the altar. And what he learned from not being able to rescue a group of underprivileged Bed-Stuy kids from becoming a statistic. At various points he says things like "Failure will give you a tattoo that will stay with you your whole life" and "Shame can be a lifetime companion for which you better prepare yourself." The whole thing is summed up thusly: "Here is the point: you are going to meet the dragon of failure in your life." Not just failure. The DRAGON of failure. The beast of failure. The Loch Ness Monster Of Failure.
So: kind of dark! And a pinch heavier than expected. Nevertheless, actually a very good, moving read (that includes Mardis Gras references and talk of restarting the Civil War). Plus, let's not forget how this story ends: with the greatest show on earth.

Paul Tudor Jones - Failure Speech June 2009

[Paul Kedrosky via Clusterstock]