Livingston Ethics Lecture: “Put it in Writing: Planning is Not an Option”
On March 8th, Mr. G. Lee Griffin spoke to the college of business, faculty, students, and the community at the annual ethics lecture put on by the College of Business. As always, the ethics lecture was interesting, but Mr. Griffin’s personality of honesty, humility, and sincerity made this lecture stand out among some of the others. Married for 54 years, it was obvious Mr. Griffin was a family man, led by his faith, which he said is what gave him the strength to do everything he accomplished throughout the years.
He began the lecture by reviewing Louisiana’s fiscal mess, discussing the 900 million dollars’ worth of revenue needed by July 1st, and how this effects the state and higher education. He mentioned that some of the problems were the centralized version ...view middle of the document...
He strongly encouraged all of us young people to be involved in politics and know what is going on in our state.
After discussing the current issues in the state of Louisiana, Mr. Griffin moved onto recounting much about his life and what got him where he was today. He stressed the importance of always seeking the open door and never giving up when one door slams in your face. Suffering from dyslexia as a child, Mr. Griffin learned the value of hard work as he went to special reading lessons for five years in order to read like the other kids his age. In high school, his dream of being a college football player was crushed due to his small size, and after college his dream of being a Frogman was ruined by an ankle injury he had sustained earlier in life. But all of his setbacks led him to Louisiana where he graduated with his master’s degree from LSU, while meeting the love of his life, whom he married a few years later. After accepting a lower-paying job in Louisiana to satisfy his soon to be father-in-law, Mr. Griffin worked his way up the ladder until he eventually became the CEO of what is now Chase bank.
Through business and life, Mr. Griffin learned that there will always be setbacks and failures, but there is always a way out. He said over and over again that honesty was the only way to do life and business, and there was no excuse for any other behavior. He also discussed two types of plans, strategic and operational plans, that must be in writing and that a company must have to succeed. While telling us a story about when his bank almost collapsed, he told us that must never drop our marketing budget.
Overall, Mr. Griffin was a delightful man who seemed truly good to his core. He spends his time now doing charitable work, spending time with kids who have dyslexia at a charter school in Baton Rouge. His main point of the night was that there will always be a door that will open; we just have to look for it.