Mogul Moments

Talk to 10 different dealmakers and you get some surprisingly similar, sensible advice

Hugh McColl, the CEO of Bank of America, once fired an executive because the guy smoked a pipe at work. "I figured anybody who had enough time to mess with pipes had too slow a metabolism for me," he explains. O.K., he's not exactly a softy. But McColl's ability to acquire and absorb one large bank after another can teach us a thing or two about teamwork: "We are people who believe in disagreeing sharply...But when we leave the room...we are in lockstep... Support the team, or you're out."

In the 14 years that I've spent chronicling Wall Street, and the...

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