This particular firm played a vital role in the global economy and had minted several billionaires among its small work force. This firm had their tentacles everywhere and in every country and yet few knew who they were. I was one of only a handful of Americans to get a shot at being on the inside of this firm.
It didn’t last long. Within a relatively short stint living in Switzerland, I was sent packing back to America to look for a new job.
On the one end, is the “Wild West” and on the other end is “The Court of Versailles”. Your success or failure depends on knowing which of the two operating paradigms dominate.
In the Wild West of yore, there was no central authority to appeal to – you ate what you killed. It was meritocratic. If you didn’t work for the wealth, the wealth didn’t get created. It didn’t matter if you were uncouth, so long as you got the job done.
In The Court of Versailles, the wealth already exists. There is a barrier to entry to this wealth but the barrier to entry is not talent or hard work – it is access to the controlling entity. In 17th century France, that was the King.