Private equity billionaire David Rubenstein of The Carlyle Group (CB) shared six traits he looks for when hiring young people.
“As I hire young people, I always look for certain characteristics. I try to have them myself to some extent, maybe I don’t,” he said during his opening remarks at the SALT Conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday.
These are the characteristics Rubenstein says make a success in the financial services world:
- Intelligent: “Reasonable intelligence. Not genius. If you’re too smart, apparently it can backfire. Reasonable intelligence.”
- Hard-working: “Good work quotient, but not obsessive compulsive. But a pretty good work quotient.”
- Focused: “Ability to focus. Focus and narrow your expertise in one area where you can actually know something better than anyone else.”
- Leader: “Exert you know how to be a leader. You can be a leader by communicating with other people three ways— One, by example. George Washington at Valley Forge communicated that he was prepared to stay with his troops no matter what. Leading by example. Leading by communicating by words—learning how to speak the English language in a way that communicates some kind of authority and leadership. And learning how to write. Very few people that I hire today really are that talented at writing. I encourage them to learn how to write better or to orally communicate much better.”
- Ethical: “Most importantly, I look for people who have ethical standards that are very high.
- Knows themselves: “I’m also looking for people that know what they want to do with their money and know why they want to achieve success in the financial services world.”
He noted that it’s been difficult in the last year or so, but those characteristics he listed are the kinds that he thinks will produce success.
Rubenstein said that success isn’t dependent upon your rate of return, the number of yachts, or homes that you own. Instead, he emphasized the importance of having the capacity to give back.
He said that it’s a privilege to live in the U.S. and earn “this kind of money.” He added that successful people have an “obligation to give back."
Rubenstein grew up in a blue collar household. He cofounded The Carlyle Group in 1987 and has amassed a net worth of approximately $2.4 billion. He’s also signed The Giving Pledge, a promise to give a majority of his wealth away to charity when he dies.
“There’s more to life than just making money.”
Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance.