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Our Secrets to Success series continues with thoughts and perspectives of success from George Maltezos, former Managing Director of Goldman Sachs and founder and CEO of Maltisian Capital. Geoerge shares his secrets of success with the Expert360 community. What was your first ever job and what did it teach you? You're probably going to laugh, but my first ever job was working for my father, who is a chef, and it was cleaning kitchens at the age of 7. It was a chore - I worked very hard and didn’t get paid. However, I learnt a valuable lesson in working hard, developing a good work attitude, and making sure that I created a life for myself where I had choices. What does success look like and mean to you? Success in my opinion is to accomplish something which I’m proud of.

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What are your three biggest accomplishments? When I reflect on some of my own accomplishments, in business and personally, the things I'm proud of are:

  1. Being empathetic and self-aware, which has helped me create the right persona for dealing with my family and business counterparts. I’m proud of my ability to think about the other person as much as thinking about my own needs.
  1. Completing my studies and becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst. I've always admired and respected the educational framework that has built a lot of successful business people that I've dealt with over the years
  1. Maintaining a very thoughtful and mature outlook on business and dealing with business opportunities. I strive to always maintain a very high level of professionalism, integrity and work ethic around my dealings.

Did you ever leave a job or opportunity too quickly or too late?

'Timing a career is very difficult.   There's always going to be a sense of ambiguity surrounding a career move, but having a long-term vision is an important benchmark to focus on. It is better to know whether or not you are moving in the right direction, as opposed to picking highs and picking lows.

Is it important to be passionate about what you do? Why?

I think it’s very difficult to be 100% passionate about everything that you do. But it’s important to be passionate about the bigger picture, the end game in order to have the drive to see it through.

What is the best (or worst) piece of advice you ever received? Why?

The best advice I’ve received is that hard work always pays off. Having a good work ethic is crucial and something to be proud of.  I tell my children that having an opportunity is great, having access is great, having things handed to you on a silver platter is great, but the one thing that will always separate those that have opportunities vs. those that can identify opportunities and go after them is a work ethic.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?

Always have a long-term objective.

What risks have you taken on your path to success?

In my career I’ve takes taken risks, although I would more comfortably refer to them as "educated, or informed decisions". There have been times where I’ve chosen to join new ventures where success was uncertain. When faced with these decisions, I tried to understand how I might be able to apply my skill set and my understanding of a particular market situation to embrace the risk and succeed. So, it is much more than an informed risk, rather than being reckless.

Has there ever been a time where a "risk" hasn't paid off?

Yes, there has been. I have pursued some new business ideas that didn’t achieve the expected results. In situations like this, it can be very hard to know whether to move forward, sideways or even backwards. Sadly, sometimes there aren't too many options. Being able to recognise when you’re stuck up against a wall is important and finding a plan to move forward even more so.

When you think of success, is there any person in particular that you look up to?

There are lots of different leaders who do wonderful things, and I keep an open mind and try to learn from different examples of leadership. For example, whilst I’ve been involved in financial and investment markets, I can't help but admire what leaders in the humanities, philanthropic or social issues space in third world countries are able to achieve in what seems to be in near impossible situations.

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