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Pepper de Callier: Things to Think About

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“Talent develops in quiet places, character in the full current of human life.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Picture, if you will, someone learning how to do something—learning how to do something well. You are likely picture that person concentrating, with all their energy focused on the task of learning. Let’s just say, for the sake of example, that it’s an MBA program, and this person learns so well, seems so talented, that they even receive a special recognition from the program’s head for their achievement. “What a talent!”, some will say. Now, they are ready to put their knowledge and talent to work, so they get hired by a private equity firm—they move, as Goethe would say, into the full current of life. Here is where the how comes into play. How do they use their talent? Do they use it in ways to run companies better, create value, and save jobs, or do they use it to strip assets, cleverly file for bankruptcy, and put people out of work? One could argue that their mission was to make money for their employer, and they did. Others might comment that what they did was, in fact, legal, and done in a very clever way, but their actions, when considering the outcome, lacked character. I don’t mean to single out any particular industry, but it is examples like this one that I hope trigger meaningful conversations about how one applies their “talent” in the full current of human life.

Good luck on your journey!

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