John Bogle of The Vanguard Group on Venture Voice Jason 28 Feb 2006

14 comments Latest by E Grotz

John Bogle rules. We can learn a lot from this man. Listen to the podcast and find out why. Hints: Simplicity, common sense, curiosity, fairness, respect, honest effort, and good old fashioned cautious spending.

Money quotes:

  • “For God’s sake let’s always keep Vanguard a place where judgment has at least a fighting chance to triumph over process.”
  • “It doesn’t require brilliance, it requires curiosity… looking at things and saying why is that? Why did that happen? Is there a better way to do it? That kind of approach to life.”
  • “It’s not about manuals… We really only have one rule: Do what’s right. If you aren’t sure what that is ask your boss.”

14 comments so far (Jump to latest)

baus 28 Feb 06

John Bogle is one of my heros. He revolutionized investing with indexing. He basically said Vanguard could be better and cheaper than their competitors by *simply* investing in the index. He was right, and that upset a lot people in the industry who were used to selling actively managed funds with high expense ratios.

Their 2045 fund is a great option for those looking an investment to buy and forget.

Rabbit 28 Feb 06

OH! OH! OH! I see a graphic for the Getting Real book! ZOMG! YAAAY!!! (It’s confusing to see “get it now” followed by “coming soon” — I clicky the book like 10 times before giving up… “Maybe it’ll work THIS time!”)

Chuck 01 Mar 06

Hi.

I haven’t listened to the podcast, I am basing my post on the “Money quotes,” specifically the first about judgment vs. process. I know someone who works at Vanguard and experienced something quite the opposite of what Mr. Bogle seems to profess. I don’t know if I’m allowed to go into too much detail, but basically it relates to the company’s hiring and termination policies and how someone would NOT have been fired if someone HAD in fact used common sense and judgment instead of simply going by the company rules. My friend was put into an uncomfortable situation because he knew that the individual was being terminated *technically* according to the company rules, but if anyone would have opened their eyes and thought about the situation for a second they would have realized it to be an incorrect application of the policy and done something different. My friend, being a new manager didn’t want to go against the company because he values his job, but at the same time he knows that their overall lack of judgment & common sense and adherence to the existing process allowed this situation to occur in the first place.
In this instance it may be a abberation, but it is also possible to speculate that John Bogle has a very idealized idea of how his company should be run and the reality is unfortunately not the same.

On a separate note, I think that quotes #1 and #3 are contradictory. The first one basically says: Use your head to make decisions, and the third one basically says: If you don’t know what is right, your boss does, so forfeit your decision making capabilities to his.

Or perhas I’m just overthinking it a bit, I tend to do that from time to time.

Thanks.

JF 01 Mar 06

You are over thinking. Life is full of contradictions. If you think hard enough and analyze thoroughly enough you’ll find them everywhere

And for the record, 1 and 3 aren’t contradictions. He’s saying use your judgement and if you aren’t sure what the right thing is ask a human, don’t consult a piece of paper. Humans have judgement, paper doesn’t.

Listen to the Podcast.

Mark Gallagher 01 Mar 06

Love this:

“It’s not about manuals… We really only have one rule: Do what’s right. If you aren’t sure what that is ask your boss.”

Most big companies communicate “values” to employees with a 50 page “code of conduct”. They now typically put it on an internal HR web site and make all employees click on a button that confirms they read it.

The reality is that nobody reads it.

John Bogle’s message to employees is simple. And the most important thing about the message - he follows it by example.

Thanks for pointing us to this podcast.

Mark

Joe Martinez 01 Mar 06

OH! OH! OH! I see a graphic for the Getting Real book! ZOMG! YAAAY!!! (It’s confusing to see “get it now” followed by “coming soon” — I clicky the book like 10 times before giving up… “Maybe it’ll work THIS time!”)

Likewise. WTH. Plus I really want that book.

Also, anyone know a way to make firefox prefill the first three boxes of this comment form?

Christopher Hawkins 01 Mar 06

“In this instance it may be a abberation, but it is also possible to speculate that John Bogle has a very idealized idea of how his company should be run and the reality is unfortunately not the same.”
Most business owners have a highly idealized view of the business once it grows larger than what they can personally manage. It’s not at all unusual.

Heck, my business is still highly manageable and I think I have an idealized view of it!


“For God’s sake let’s always keep Vanguard a place where judgment has at least a fighting chance to triumph over process.”

I’ve never seen process and reason as being mutually exclusive. I’m sure Mr. Bogle doesn’t either. I hope nobody latches on to this to justify spewing more “process = evil” garbage. There’s enough of that in the industry already.

Done correctly, judgement inform process, and process improves judgement, I think.

James Archer 01 Mar 06

Venture Voice is an awesome podcast overall. For anyone who’s in the web/tech industry, it’s a must-listen.

Josh 01 Mar 06

Anyone else notice the book’s now available? I just ordered my copy. :)

Venture Voice is a very good podcast…looking forward to listening to this one.

Rabbit 01 Mar 06

GAH! Josh beat me to it! I ordered mine, too! WOOHOO BABY VACATION TIME!

Joe Martinez 01 Mar 06

Wooooohoooooo ordered mine too!

E Grotz 11 Mar 06

Anyone know if there is another link to this file? Cannot download for some reason. Would LOVE to listen to this.

E Grotz 11 Mar 06

Never mind — must be a Safari incompatibility.

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