Poem: If

If you can keep optimistic when all about you
Are fearing an economic meltdown and blaming it on you
If you can be convinced in your ability to deliver a deal when others call it into question
Yet allow for them to fully express their lack of faith
If you can persevere and avoid losing the drive to earn bigger fees
Or, offered very little, subtly take whatever money is on the table
Or being envied not to give way to envy except coveting greater success
And never dress down, nor talk too modestly

If you can crave – and not make your cravings your master
If you analyse – and not make your analysis your aim
If you can meet with Fortune and Happiness
And treat those two relatives as the same
If you can bear to have presentations you’ve created
Criticized by competitors to put you in a bad light
Or watch your clever financial models thrown out
And build up the courage to create them again from scratch

If you can use other people’s money
And risk it all on one investment with magnificent returns
And lose, and ask people for money again
And never mention a word about their loss
If you can force your mental faculties and imagination to fabricate new opportunities
To carry forth diligently when sleep and energy become elusive
And keep your eyes on the prize until there is nothing in you
Except the Passion which says: execute a bigger deal!

If you can talk with interns and show them a bit of respect
Or walk with CEOs – nor forget to say hello to the shoeshine boy
If neither competing bankers nor jealous friends can harm you
If billionaires count for you, but none too much
If you can conquer the fleeting minute
With one hundred and twenty seconds of dealmaking
Yours is the Universe and everything within it
And – which is more – you’ll be a Banker, my friend!

The ibanker
(Publication date: 18 February 2013)

6 thoughts on “Poem: If

  1. Saku Rajun says:

    Dear ibanker,

    I looked up your website after a friend recommended I visit.
    What a fantastic amalgamation of anecdotes and stories.
    I love this post, Rudyard Kipling is one of my favourites, it seems you share
    his talent for short story telling ibanker! Wonderful!

    Look forward to reading you again soon – yours sincerely

  2. Maximus says:

    If you can get sh&t on and say thank you sir may I have another; If you can prepare to have your non-banking girlfriend cheat on you the first few years on the job as you will only see her one hour a week…then, you are a ready to be a banker, my son.

  3. Caleb says:

    This poem reminds me of one written by a man raised in a foreign country during an era when the violent acquisitions of countries are now akin to LBOs of behemoth companies.

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