While I was in college, my roommate was a business major with Rich Dad Poor Dad on his desk, a Scarface poster on his wall, and Wall Street in his DVD player. As you can guess, he had money-signs in his eyes, and looked up to people like Gordon Gekko, the rich stockbroker with more money than he could spend.
Gordon Gekko is also the bad guy of the movie, the guy who screwed countless people through insider trading.
This is not a guy that you want to be your mentor. Yet people continue to worship the “greed is good” model that he preaches in his speeches. They see his slick hair, brick cellphone while strolling the beach, and Cuban cigars that paints the alpha male picture that every male aspires to. But why?
The author of What Men Don’t Tell Women About Business (which perhaps is the only book that explains alpha males and is not intended to help you pick up chicks) admits to watching his hero Gordon Gekko in the movie Wall Street so many times that the tape would wear out and would have to buy another copy. He is also a selfish misogynistic jerk. But he explains the truth, no matter how jarring, and says it like it is. The way he explains it is like this: the alpha male’s biggest fear is failure. They are scared of it so much that they must look like a winner in every set of eyes and ears they encounter. And what is the simplest way to blindly measure success? Money.
What is my point? People like the fictional billionaire Gordon Gekko have gotten where they were by steam-rolling over whoever and whatever they want, with zero ethics beside those that deal on their own level. Is this hypothetical douche-bag the guy you seriously want to look up to and be your mentor? Gordon Gekko was a criminal, plain and simple. The way he became a billionaire was by breaking the law. Becoming rich is very attractive, but at what cost?