As a coach who has worked with individual Billionaires and on two occasions with billionaire families, Ive been hooked on two excellent TV series. Billions stars Paul Giamatti who plays New York district attorney, Chuck Rhoades, and Damian Lewis, a hedge fund billionaire, Bobby Axelrod. Succession, from Showtime, created by Jesse Armstrong, centers around the Roys, a media dynasty.
whose patriarch is played by Brian Cox. In my experience both are excruciatingly, forensically, true to life. But how do they help us to undesand how Billionaires experience the world? From the Inside Out Both Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis) and Logan Roy (Brian Cox) epitomize the ruthless, at times maniacal drive to beat their competition, which I’ve seen before in self-made billionaires.
And while we all imagine that Billionaires lives must surely be shinier and happier than ours, in reality, Billionaires are ordinary, complex, flawed human beings whose lives and longings I have not found to be sated by the number of houses, yachts or helicopters they own. In my experience, serious money only makes people’s lives more complicated, heavier and less joyous.
Both series do a great job of showing how huge wealth can set people apart from the rest of humanity, and how living in lonely compounds on top of the world, like the Axelrods and the Roys, does not stop billionaires from plummeting the depths of human despair. Trust The TV series about the Gettys, starring Donald Sutherland, was approriately titled Trust, as Billionaires are affected by a profound lack of this, equivalent to that experienced by people who have been systematically abused.
Imagine a world in which everyone you meet wants something from you. Whether it’s their kids’ high school principal or the new friend they just met at a party, billionaires always suspect (usually with just cause) that it is not their humor, intellect or personality which is most highly prized.Sooner or later, it seems to many billionaires, everyone, even their closest relatives, asks them for money.
Trust, because it is in such short supply, becomes the thing they want more than anything, and as you can see so clearly in Succession and Billions, they end up testing it to the point where they themselves are responsible for breaking trust or preventing any chance of trust being built. Trust between two people is, of course, a two way contract, and when Bobby Axelrod, as the most powerful person in his firm, or Logan Roy as the head of his family, test their family members trust to beyond breaking point, as Bobby does with Taylor Mason and Logan does with pretty much everyone, it is because Bobby and Logan are subconsciously seeking to control and break trust before they can be hurt by someone else breaking it first.
. This is why Billionaires often feel safest with paid friends (art advisers, personal trainers, etc) where they know the relationship is transactional, from the outset. Fortunately, when I work as a coach to billionaire.....