Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., smiles during a discussion at the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Summit in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. Goldman's 10,000 Small Businesses is an investment that brings economic opportunity and assists entrepreneurs to create jobs by providing better access to education, capital and business support services. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
Lloyd Blankfein announced that he was stepping down as CEO of Goldman Sachs in September 2018 © Bloomberg

Welcome to the FT Business school newsletter, a weekly serving of management wisdom, reading recommendations and business-related challenges. FT subscribers can sign up here to receive the newsletter by email every Monday. If you have feedback about FT Business school, please email bschool@ft.com.

You can view current and previous editions of the newsletter online.

How to Lead

Maria Ramos, CEO of Absa bank, talks about how to win a favourable deal, in our weekly series How to Lead.

Andrew Hill's challenge

The FT's management editor sets a weekly test of your business, strategy and management skills.

The Lehman Trilogy, a new production at London's National Theatre, traces the values, influence and trajectory of the three original Lehman brothers and their descendants, from the mid-19th century to the collapse 10 years ago of the bank that carried their name. It's a mesmeric tale of culture gone wrong. I contrast the story in this week's column with the durability of Goldman Sachs, whose chief executive Lloyd Blankfein announced his departure last week.

For my management challenge, please draft a one-paragraph memo from Mr Blankfein to his successor, the investment banker (and part-time DJ) David Solomon, laying out the two or three things he should do to sustain and build on Goldman's culture. Send your ideas to bschool@ft.com.

In further reading this week, an interesting piece of self-help by Melissa Dahl, for the Aeon website, in which she points out that cultivating high self-esteem — the traditional pop-psychology key to success — is in fact "poor preparation for dealing with the everyday embarrassments of being human". She points out that a "so what?" attitude to recollections of past humiliations may be healthier, which has implications for the current obsession with "humble leaders".

Professor's picks

Every week a business school professor or academic recommends useful FT articles.

Zahir Irani, dean at the University of Bradford School of Management, selects:

Executive bonuses: Carillion shows why it pays to make them wait There's a fundamental lack of trust in senior leaders — exacerbated by examples of rewards that are out of proportion with results. But that could be about to change.

The Financial Reporting Council, the regulator responsible for promoting corporate governance, said in its updated code that “bonuses paid in shares must now be held for five years — explicitly, because a longer holding period ‘supports long-term success’, but implicitly because shorter periods allowed Carillion directors to earn rewards that did not even require the company’s survival.”

The other side of the story is that leadership has never been more demanding — a role that attracts intense scrutiny and long hours. Business students and new generations of leaders need to think about how to create fair and sustainable remuneration to award and promote long-term success.

Jonathan Moules's business school news

Are you taking a break right now? Late July offers a brief period of calm to many of those involved in business school before preparations for the new school term kick in. It is important to relax, but this can also be a moment for aspiring students to reflect on what they need to do to get that business masters degree.

For those who have already have a place on an MBA course, I have written a short series of pieces to help prepare for business school. The latest provides some tips on getting back in the mindset of a full-time student.

Paying the tuition fees is another key consideration. Here is a piece with some suggestions on how to ask your boss to cover the costs.

Summer is also a time to catch up on your reading. Have you added any to your list expressly to get yourself ready for a new business school term? If so, I would be interested to hear from you with your recommendations at jonathan.moules@ft.com.

Extra reading

Find out how to design your department like a behavioural scientist in this article from Apolitical. 'From redecorating desks to bosses speaking last, experts give tips for a well-run office.'

Ask the academics

Got a question for leading business school experts? Send it to bschool@ft.com and we will publish the best replies in future newsletters.

Test your knowledge

How good is your grasp of the news? Test your reading of last week's top stories with the FirstFT quiz.

Edited by Wai Kwen Chan — bschool@ft.com

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