Big Enough to Fall Apart - Does Jamie Dimon need a Strategy Coach?

I was recently reading through the business news section, when I realized that there is a ton of bad PR going on about JP Morgan Bank. Now, while I am no fan of the actions taken by the massive monopoly bank in recent decades, I'm also not the type of person to look at anything and assume that mistakes were actually nefarious actions taken to be purposefully negative.

If I'm going to make any judgements without really knowing someone or the situation of their business, my first judgement is always going to be that all people make decisions from a place of good and loving intentions, even if it doesn't appear that way to everyone else. That being said, the mistakes being made by Jamie Dimon and his staff (of all levels) are great examples of how even the worlds most successful people can stumble when doubt creeps upon them.

Now, although there is no way to deny how successful J.P. Morgan Bank is, there is also no way to downplay the massive mistakes made by it's CEO Jamie Dimon and his staff. With only one click to business news on any search engine or website, media outlets of all sizes are giving grim reviews of what they think the problem is, varying between brow beating Dimon and praising him for holding on in a struggling economy. Even president Obama praised Dimon for doing a "pretty good job" running one of the worlds largest banking institutions. Though as my clients know, "pretty good" is not GOOD. Pretty Good is almost good, it's not success. It's one jump towards success or away from it, and still in an unknown area. People say something is "pretty good" when they don't want to be the "bad guy" and tell you that you're messing up big time.

And honestly, no matter what Mr. O says, there is no getting around the troubling actions taken by the most influential people at JP Morgan, including Mr. CEO himself. I mean seriously, did you read about the scandal where JP Morgan raised rates of active duty military servicemen and women and veterans, and foreclosed on nearly half of them for not being able to pay the spontaneous new rates? They even kicked a few right out of their homes because of it. Now - credit is do where positive action have been taken, and Jamie publicly stated that they were going to hire 100,000 veterans, pay back thousands of men and women they cheated and give back the homes of those who were foreclosed on. All of this is a step in the right direction for making things up to those service people and veterans who were literally effected by those mistakes, but it isn't even close to being enough to change the current public perspective of JP Morgan Chase and the big cheese who manages it.

Of course, the JPM image was not helped any by the previous slights of the Alabama dropout, where some JP Morgan staffers were found doing shady business with the Governor of a certain town, which resulted in a near complete bankruptcy for the entire city. To add to that list, J.P. Morgan wrongfully accepted a $25 Million loan from our government - a loan that it did not need.

Now, while I am not going to be another voice saying it is or is not Jamie Dimon's fault that the bank got into the poor PR position that it's in, though I am going to say that it's definitely time that Jamie considers a new coach for his life. More specifically - a Strategy Coach, because it's clear that the strategy Jamie has been using, is not going to be an effective strategy to keep using.

What do I mean?

Well, it's really simple actually. The status of your business is a DIRECT reflection the status of your life. And looking at things that way, if J.P. Morgan's staff, traders and officers are so imbalanced that they can't even keep clients separate from corporations, then there are some SERIOUS imbalances in the owner of JP Morgan and current business model.

This is something that I coach many of my clients through - understanding that you cannot just work on your business and expect everything else will fix itself. If your health, home, family or relationships are out of balance, or you're not giving them an equal amount of attention, then your business will suffer as much as the rest of your life is - it's that simple.

It's also really simple to see how all of this happened - The economy was ready for a "bust" cycle, which is a natural occurrence in just about any form of market, and even though it's a very natural thing, not very many people are aware of this fact. So when the market naturally began to drop out, people were taken by surprise and found themselves desperately seeking to hold someone accountable for a challenge that cannot be avoided. The economy goes up, the economy goes down. Like evolution, love and laughter - it's inevitable.

Still, those who were and are still freaking out over economic troubles, want to put the blame on someone, and it might as well be the worlds "Mr. Scrooge", which is the best way I can describe what those who've met or worked with Jamie Dimon, have depicted him as. They say he's cold and that he never compliments anyone, even though he receives praise and compliments all the time. He's also portrayed as someone who is cheap and usually yelling at somebody. And when he's not yelling, he's usually storming out of a room or making passive death threats at competitors....

-- We criticize and blame others because we see the parts of ourselves in them, that we like the least. -- 

So all the claims of mistakes, errors and egregious decisions made by traders and other staff are simply a reflection of how Mr. Dimon really feels about himself - afraid, inferior and uncertain. The continued pounded from people seeking someone to blame, started to prey upon Mr. Dimon's natural tendency to be short tempered and doubtful of himself, leading to aggressive outbursts and more impotent decisions.

And it's the Uncertainty that has really got him in the pile of shit that he's in, which you can clearly see from the act of accepting the $25 mill from the TARP fund when they didn't need it. Sure, it looked like a short term win from JP Morgans perspective, but you know what it really did? It created UNCERTAINTY in the eyes of the public. By taking the TARP fund, JP Morgan looked weak and unstable like all of the other major banks being bailed out, and no amount of transparent accounting can change the subconscious connection in the publics eyes. If they were a business of integrity, value and prosperity - they would have said "thanks, but no thanks" when the government offered them the loan they didn't need.

Yes they chose to accept that offer, and didn't stop to have any forethought of what that action might do. What that action did, was dropped the value of the assets held by Morgan Chase, because speculators and consumers now believe that the bank is being deceitful about their earnings, it only makes sense to outsiders, because it doesn't make sense how a business can both be secure and need a major bail out.

Now, if you've kept up with financial news, then you've already seen exactly what that one bad decision did for JP Morgan and Jamie Dimon: It created DOUBT in the eyes of the public. And because the public now doubts that JP Morgan is as stable as Jamie keeps trying to convince them it is, it has created frustration and doubt in Jamie himself, which in turn domino's to create even more uncertainty from the public - who now wonder if Jamie has what it takes to maintain his image as a Leader and Achiever and to continue on as the main manager of JP Morgan Chase & Co.

And even if you didn't have the doubtful actions displayed by Dimon, the repetitive reports of Dimon being cold, angry and impatient, don't inspire a workplace or board that is exciting, full of opportunities and ready to grow. It only makes sense that the rest of the company has a hard time staying on task, managing their over-abundance of assets and not making huge mistakes. Their all afraid of failing to live up to the standards of their demanding CEO, who clearly has no problem jumping out placing plenty of blame himself. Not once, after ready through at least 100 articles and publications, have I read or heard about Mr. Dimon stopping to say, "It's nobodies fault, it's a challenge and that's it. Challenges don't require blame to overcome them, they only require that you align your current actions with your future outcomes."

Though it's clear that Dimon has forgotten one of the golden rules of success - placing the blame on someone or something outside of yourself, takes away your own personal power. Blame is dis-empowering and demotivating. It breaks you down, which in turn triggers you to break other people down - neither of which are positive actions, and both of which will only produce more negative results for Jamie Dimon.

Now, being the creative Pisces Sun/Aries Moon that Jamie Dimon is, I fully expect that he will overcome his current challenges. It's clear that somewhere in his life, he developed a system that helped him ram his way through most challenges in his life - the question isn't really whether or not Jamie can properly and effectively continue to run JP Morgan; it's a question whether or not he'll push away his tendency to change jobs, and stick with JPM.

Obviously, if Jamie's mischievous duo of friends (Clinton and Blair) have anything to say about it, Dimon will take a long reprieve from CEO-Banking and jump into the complications of a long term Political career. And while I'm sure Jamie could be very successful in politics, it just isn't meant to be for someone who so greatly values freedom and variety above all other things.

And you can tell that what I'm speaking is true, if you take the time to read Jamie's various bio's and references online. From early on it was easy to tell that Jamie was destined for great achievements, though I very much doubt it was foreseen that he would be such a fear-inspiring man with some many issues with self-worth. Only the stars could've known for sure.

Now, while I'm still a small time somebody, who has little experience in banking, I still aspire to help everyone on every level that I can. So while it's a long shot to dream of Jamie being on my client list, I can at very least hope his philomathic mind will seek what I will provide - some tips on how to turn things around quickly. And this isn't just for Mr. Dillon, they are for anyone who is experiencing trouble in their business or life.

How to Get Your Business Back on Track

  • First, examine the rest of your life -- if your business is off track and you feel like you've been doing everything to stabilize it, you won't be able to until you give your relationships, home, family, spirituality and health - the same amount of attention. A balance must be achieved.
  • Value-Action Alignment -- If you're unsure if your values are aligned with your actions, there is one very easy way to test that out - ask yourself: "Am I happy doing what I do?" If you hesitate to answer, say "I don't know" or you try to lie to yourself, then the answer is a big fat "NO". If your actions were aligned with your values, then your business wouldn't be suffering.
  • Delegate More -- Way to many CEO's and Business owners, find themselves doing just about everything for their businesses. It doesn't matter if your the founder of a start up, or a long time achiever like Jamie Dimon - if you're spreading yourself and your staff too thin, it's time to spread out. Look around your business and ask yourself, "Do I need more help?" -- This could mean hiring on an extra hand or two, or in Jamie's case, hiring on a few extra 100,000 staffers and then some to keep up with the demands of 2,117 Trillion assets (only about half of them are being directly managed by staffer's who have the time and resources to do so).
  • Forget the Past -- I don't care what mistakes you or anyone else may have made yesterday, last year or even just 10 seconds ago - the past is uncontrollable. The present moment is what we can control, and it is the control of our present actions that will determine our future behaviors and the results that manifest through those behaviors.
  • When all else fails, get back to the fundamentals -- review your 20, 10, 5 and 1 year visions. Reassess your goals, plans and strategies. If something isn't working, it isn't because you're just rotten at business, it shows that a strategy that used to work, doesn't work anymore. It could be an emotional strategy, a financial strategy or a combination of several life strategies. Either way, when the challenges you experience, become overwhelming, break things down to the basic fundamentals.
  • Gratitude Defeats Doubt -- The only way to defeat Doubt is to vanquish fear, and the only way to do that is to create ultimate certainty. How do you do that? You put yourself in a state of Gratitude, which will manifest the energy of ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY and abundance requires in order to manifest great results.

"We are always achieving results. The question is, are you happy with the results you're achieving? If you're not, then it's time to change your actions to achieve different results." ~Coach Amanda