Lloyd Blankfein grew up in the Linden Housing projects, the son of a postal worker who would leave for Harvard at the age of 16 before cutting his teeth on the J. Aron trading floor. Gary Cohn had his dyslexia to overcome. Jamie Dimon was the young prince of Citigroup (NYSE: C) when his father(figure) Sandy Weill unceremoniously fired him. Ben Bernanke was a self-described nerd who spent a lot of time by himself playing Strat-O-Matic, which fostered his love of probability and statistics. Brian Moynihan was a lawyer when he was asked to run Bank of America (NYSE: BAC). The titans of finance and masters of the universe all became the leaders and elder statesmen they are today through a unique set of experiences that shaped and defined them. What forces molded Lynn Tilton, the founder of Patriarch Partners currently going head to head with the SEC, into the unique manager she is today? A manager whose style includes but is not limited to:
- Organizing an office morale building event in which male employees were forced to choose between taking a Jell-O shot off of her stomach or licking whipped cream off of her breasts
- Repeatedly telling the joke “There are three universal lies: Margins are weak, but we’ll make it up in volume; the check’s in the mail; and I won’t come in your mouth.”
- Sending male clients a Christmas card that featured her wearing lingerie and a Santa hat, holding a whip about to be cracked on a stuffed tiger
- According to a former employee, “...conducting a work atmosphere so filled with sexual innuendos and a river of vulgarities as to create needless job stress, tension, emotional distress, and humiliation on the part of the employees in her presence" and "intentionally wearing skirts so short that people got an eyeful during business meetings"
According to Tilton, it was her time with Kabbalah scholars and Mayan Indians.
Stephanie Ruhle, Bloomberg TV: I don’t believe you started this way though. Did something happened that really changed you to become someone who looks for the light, someone who’s driven by spirituality?
Tilton: Yes, I mean, I went on a spiritual journey in my 30s. I come from a long line of Kabbalah scholars and I studied with the Mayan Indians for a decade. So, yes, I worked hard on myself. I wasn’t always this person. But I continue to evolve and sometimes I forget and I have to smack myself upside down and remember again.
SEC: Lynn Tilton Defrauded Investors, Did She? [BloombergTV]
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