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When Andrew Chadwick-Jones, a management consultant with Oliver Wyman in London, went to pitch to a private-equity firm late last year, he expected the usual: about 20 minutes and a brisk attitude. He was surprised to find the private-equity people instead explaining their strategy, offering introductions to senior staff and being more open and friendly. "Now that money and deals are scarce, they've got to be nicer to all the people they interact with, in case they might help bring business in future," he says.
Rudeness is out, and civility is the new rule in an uncertain world. The former kings of abrasive behavior--Masters of the Universe bankers, hedge-fund traders, and private-equity chiefs--have been humbled. On Wall Street, says a banker, "it's now all about charm and openness and taking time with people." Cocky young things straight out of the best business schools have stopped skipping interview appointments, recruiters say, and there is much less looking over people's shoulders at drinks parties, reports one veteran. Many people, fearful for their jobs, are trying to burnish their contacts at other firms.
Source: The Economist
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