10 Great Things I Learned From Getting Fired

Sallie Krawcheck
Sallie Krawcheck

By Sallie Krawcheck

There are some things worth being fired over. Sometimes your personal values don't mesh with the company's (regardless of what the company's "Values Statement" says).

Back in 2008, at Smith Barney, we had sold supposedly low-risk investments to our clients. But instead of their value declining modestly during the downturn, they went to very close to $0. I never found any evidence of wrongdoing; but I did recognize that we had nonetheless breached our clients' trust, regardless of what the small print said. I proposed that we share part of the losses with them – both because it was the "right thing" to do, but also very much because sharing the impact of the hit would, I thought, be the "right business thing" to do. There were others who disagreed; after much back-and-forth (and many "no's"), my team's argument won the day, but it was clear I wasn't long for the company.