How the man who made Goldman Sachs MD aged 27 stays chilled

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How the man who made Goldman Sachs MD aged 27 stays chilled

Kunal Shah is getting old. Now aged all of 36, he's been a managing director at Goldman Sachs for nine years and a partner for nearly five. The head of emerging markets trading EMEA, he's not quite as elfish as he used to be, but nor does he have grey hairs, a large gut, or conspicuous myopia.

How, then, does Shah do it? In a video recently posted to Goldman Sachs' YouTube channel, he offers some pointers. 

The secret to staying resilient, says Shah, is about setting your priorities. "What are those few things, which regardless of which way you're pulled on, you always make time for."

Shah doesn't say what his particular priorities are, but they presumably include his young children and maybe his family in India.

How Goldman Sachs is helping its employees destress

Shah was speaking at last month's Resilient Leader Conference, run by Goldman charity 10,000 Small Businesses UK.

Goldman Sachs as a whole has been coaching its employees on resilience since at least 2015.

In this year's sustainability report, Goldman says it focuses on employees' resilience across five dimensions: state of mind (taking control of thoughts and staying in the present), physical strength (increasing energy and stamina for work and life), connections (cultivating positive work and personal relationships), purpose (aligning goals and priorities with values) and self-awareness (developing a clear perception of self, including strengths, motivations and areas that need to be developed).

Last year, Goldman's employees were given access to a special resilience management app on their phones. This includes a 90-question clinical self-assessment tool to help them mitigate stress, achieve emotional balance and improve their performance at work. 

The new tool helps Goldman Sachs staff understand what triggers feelings of stress, what alters their mood and helps improve their ability to respond without feeling overwhelmed. Goldman didn't respond to a request to elaborate further.

It's not clear whether Shah uses it or not, but after nine years in the top ranks of Goldman he doesn't seem very stressed or to have aged much at all.

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