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The Wolf of Wall Street and the Lesson He Taught My Son

jordon belfort wolf of wall street

A Leadership Lesson From Jordon Belfort

Have you seen that new movie, Wolf of Wall Street yet?  Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, it’s based on a true story about a Wall Street scoundral, Jordon Belfort.
Belfort was a very bad dude and went to jail in 1998 for his misdeeds, which included securities fraud and money laundering. After co-operating with the FBI, he served 22 months for promoting dodgy schemes which apparently cost hapless investors around $200 million.
During his high flying years he developed a party lifestyle and a serious drug addiction.
Whilst in jail he was befriended by a guy who inspired him to document his exploits which ultimately manifested as the best seller Wolf of Wall Street.
Apparently he has now reformed himself and is on the motivational speakers’ circuit commanding big fees.
In fact he was in my home town of Brisbane (Queensland, Australia) late last year and gave a few interviews.  When I saw him my first thought was ‘once a hustler, always a hustler’.  Although he’s reformed himself he is still one very tough cookie.
And this is where it gets interesting…..
During his visit to Brisbane, my youngest son got a call from Belfort.
Nathan is a retired tennis pro who now coaches players. Booming down the phone was a heavy American accent: ‘This is Jordan Belfort. I’m a tennis fanatic and want to have a hit with a top player.  How good are you?’
After a bit of argy bargy he agreed to come to the tennis centre to have a hit.  Nathan tells me that for an amateur he’s pretty good.  Because of his aggressive nature Nathan made a determination not to embarrass him by beating him, so let him win all the points.
After about half an hour of this Belfort said to Nathan ‘You said you’re a good player, so how come I’m beating you?’
Nathan replied ‘my job is to make you look good!’
Belfort then had a small meltdown and said something that I thought was pretty cool:
“Your job is NOT to make me look good.  You’re job is to be the best you can be.  I want to be stretched, and if you can’t do that, I’m out of here.”
Galvanised into action Nathan turned on the tap and had him running all over the court.  At the end of the session he gave Nathan a $100 tip saying ‘that was the best workout I’ve had in years!’
Nice story.
Whilst Jordan Belfort may not be everyone’s cup of tea, in a way his direct ‘tell it as it is’ approach is refreshing.  Too often we like to coat things in sugar to protect the other person from harsh reality.  But the fact is that we are NOT protecting the other person.  We are protecting our own fragile egos.  This is sort of understandable, but is the opposite of what real leaders do, and what people need.
And certainly, when it comes to making serious money in a home business such as the top tier business I’ve been telling you about, there is a harsh reality you need to be aware of…….
Only the Tough Survive (and prosper)
It’s true.
….. I can help you set up your campaigns.
…..I can get traffic flowing for you
…..I can get leads flowing for you
But one thing I CAN’T and WON’T do is run your business for you.  Why would I do that when I make lots more money running my own?
So unless someone takes responsibility and drives the business forward on a daily basis, things will fizzle and ultimately die.
It’s the law of the jungle writ large.
I just had my Jordon Belfort moment.
Now it’s back to the wimp factory to suck my thumb.

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