Have you watched Jim Cramer? I do not mean Kramer from Seinfeld. I mean Mad Money Cramer! He has his own unique approach that coincides with his in-depth knowledge about hedge funds, the stock and bond markets, business investments and corporate evaluations in the USA and the world. He provides facts, trends, and personal insights regarding a company performance, their internal leadership abilities as well as the public’s/shareholder’s perspective of the organization. In addition, Jim Cramer is an author of several books designed for the average person to understand more about the investment world. I call them the “shoulda, woulda, coulda” book about investments.
He is a one-man show, with bells, whistles, babies crying and other unusual props. All of which captures your attention, puts you in a listening mode, allowing you to gain additional insight, all to formulate your opinion about the current investing topic. What is even more captivating is the fact that many people that call into the Mad Money television show, really just want Jim Cramer’s opinion regarding what to do with their own hard earn money! Where should they invest? Wow, now that is trust.
Jim Cramer has come a long way, and I will say, has worked extremely hard to achieve the credibility he holds today. I can remember back in 2005, I was in a meeting with the Senior Leadership Team of a Fortune 500 company. We were a relatively new company at the time. In a fun tone I turned to our CEO and said, “John, you should go on Mad Money –it would be a great interview and it would be fantastic exposure for our company!” Do you know his reply? “No, Carey, we will never go on that show”. Well I was always told, “never say never”, because about 5 years later guess who was a guest with Jim Cramer on Mad Money. You guessed it!
So why would leaders of today and future leaders of tomorrow want to model themselves after Jim Cramer? Here are three things to consider:
1. The “I don’t give up attitude”
I have not personally met Jim Cramer, (maybe one day) but from what I have learned he never gives up. His character was shaped from experiencing difficulties that many of us will never have to experience. Such as living out of the back of an old station wagon while learning his trade resulting in becoming an experienced hedge fund manager. In 1996 he co-founded TheStreet.com, Inc. then developed and hosted his own cable television program, CNBC’s Mad Money with Jim Cramer. He has had numerous other public appearances, speaking and hosting opportunities, and now can also be seen routinely as a co-host of “Squawk on the Streets.”
Do we need to experience such an extreme hardship to embrace the attitude of “I don’t give up”? I hope not. However as leaders, our attitude is “the face” that the people we serve see every day. If you actively participate and emulate the fact that “not giving up” is a key characteristic you possess, others will want to take the ride with you.
2. Don’t Stop Learning
People seem to be attracted to others who are not afraid of asking questions, investing, reading, or participating in lessons learned to improve their own knowledge. This includes different people with different educational backgrounds. Harvard graduates to high school grads. The process of absorbing everything and anything that is put in front of you almost demands respect from others. People envy this ability. This does not come without a price. During your education period (which is everlasting, it seems) continuous education almost makes you a junkie at heart, and leaves little for any type of work-life balance. It is a tough situation for many people to manage for any length of time. Continuing education is a necessity to be considered an expert in your field.
3. Fun is Good
As I said early, my past CEO said he would never be a guest on Mad Money. Why? Think about it. Jim Cramer shouts, makes pouty faces, and paces around his T.V. set in, at times, in a scary way. All the while creating all sorts of noises through a predesigned extremely annoying electronic control panel. Plus, let’s be frank, he does ask the tough questions to his guests, and he provides his opinion. The audience knows after the completion of the interview if Cramer is supporting any investment into that particular company.
I think what Mr. Cramer communicates very well that it is ok to have fun while speaking on a topic as serious as investing someone’s hard earned money, it is the “BOO-YA”. Sit back, watch and listen. Mr. Cramer has created such a brand, the people that call into the show to ask advice, but first and foremost they need to connect with a “BOO-YA” from their state, alma mater, or favorite football team. Sharing this verbal cheer with Jim, means they have now built a relationship. The connection has been completed, just that fast. This is the greeting that really says, “you can trust me”.
Jim Cramer, developed his name brand, creating credibility and trust with investors he has never met and with the leaders of Fortune 500 companies, and sharing his charitable trust investments only to showcase his ability to make lot of money.
Now why wouldn’t you want to be like Jim Cramer? He embraces all characteristics of an influential leader and has a blast doing so!
How do you develop a leader that embraces a “I can do attitude,” promotes “Don’t stop learning” while “enjoying what you do so you never have to work a day in your life”? I would love to hear your story!
Written by Carey G MacConnell Please follow me for more exciting posts.
Managing Partner of Voyager Leadership Training LLC