Here is a talk I gave last month at the 25-year reunion of my class at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.  It picks up and brings together several of the themes from earlier blog posts.

I always knew I would join the family business.  I’d follow my father as he had followed his.  Growing up I didn’t think about a career or about the unfolding of a life filled with purpose.  I certainly didn’t connect the two.  I treated the guarantee of a job as a source of freedom.  And in college and graduate school I studied what I loved (namely, ancient history and philosophy) rather than what I thought might be useful in business.

Then when I began working full-time at the family company (The Decurion Corporation, which operates movie theaters and develops real estate), I was, well, miserable.  The intellectual stimulation and clear standards of academe had disappeared.  In their place were mundane and pointless tasks.  After two years of what seemed like serving time I left for business school. Read the full article…