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  • FEMALE SPEAKER: Hello, everyone.

  • Welcome, fellow Googlers, and guests.

  • I'm very excited today to introduce

  • an incredibly inspiring person, author, and speaker,

  • Joe Plumeri, who is here today to share

  • a bit about his new book, "The Power of Being Yourself-- A

  • Game Plan for Success by Putting Passion

  • into Your Work and Life."

  • Joe Plumeri is the former CEO of Willis Group, and Citibank

  • North America.

  • He now serves as the Vice Chairman of First Data

  • Corporation, and a member of its board of directors.

  • His passion, honesty, and sense of purpose

  • flows through the pages of his book, as well as his speeches.

  • So please join me in welcoming Joe Plumeri.

  • [APPLAUSE]

  • JOE PLUMERI: Thank you.

  • Thank you very much.

  • Thank you all for coming.

  • I appreciate it very much.

  • First of all, I should tell you why I wrote this book.

  • I am not a writer.

  • I don't do that for a living.

  • But I have passion, and I have a point of view about things.

  • And a couple years ago, I started

  • to think about-- as you all do-- about life in general,

  • and how things are going.

  • And I said to myself, you know, it's interesting

  • how we all celebrate authenticity in this country.

  • We think authenticity is great.

  • We see people who are genuine, and we

  • say that person is really a real person.

  • And then we see everything's filtered today

  • through emails, texts, Instagrams, Twitters,

  • LinkedIns, and by the time you get through all of that stuff,

  • you wonder what's true, and what's false.

  • I see in companies, people send emails

  • because they don't want to be there when people are

  • reading it on the other end.

  • And I think about how unfamiliar we've become with each other.

  • I watch television, and I see people read off

  • of teleprompters.

  • And I ask myself, did they really write that?

  • Do they really feel that way about the subject,

  • or does somebody else feel that way?

  • I see people on television get choked up, and begin to cry.

  • And they apologize immediately for crying.

  • And I ask myself, why are they apologizing

  • for being themselves, and being genuine about who they are?

  • And I think about our society, and are we

  • being disconnected with how we really feel about things?

  • And so I wanted to write this book.

  • I had in my head to do it for all of those reasons.

  • And then a couple years ago, my son-- my now-oldest son

  • was running in the Boston Marathon.

  • And it was the day of the terrorist attack in Boston.

  • And you'll read about it in the book.

  • And it's really what motivated me

  • to write the book, when I saw people's emotions that day.

  • I saw them caring for each other.

  • I saw people helping each other.

  • I saw people terrorized.

  • And I said, why do we have to wait for an occasion?

  • Why do we have to wait for a wedding, a funeral,

  • or a catastrophe for people to really show who they are?

  • Why can't we be that way every day?

  • So what I did was to set about stories in the book

  • about being yourself, either my stories,

  • or other people's stories.

  • And I didn't do it by virtue of chapters.

  • I did it by virtue of principles, things

  • that I believed in.

  • So that when you read the book, it's

  • not something you put back on the shelf and say,

  • OK, I read that book.

  • But it's something that you could use every day.

  • And something that you could remind yourself all about.

  • And I tried to be-- and I know I was-- as transparent

  • as you possibly could be.

  • Because otherwise, the book would not have integrity.

  • I'm just going to talk to you about a few of the principles.

  • One of the principles is, we all got the same plumbing.

  • Now you're asking me, what is that all about?

  • What that's about is, is I've traveled

  • throughout the whole world.

  • And what I found out was, is that whether you're from Asia,

  • or whether you're from Indianapolis,

  • or whether you're from South America,

  • or wherever you're from, everybody

  • feels the same feeling that we all do.

  • And that if we understood that better,

  • maybe the world would be a little bit nicer, and more

  • peaceful.

  • Because I have traveled the world.

  • I was the CEO of a British company for 13 years.

  • And you would think when everybody

  • talks about the British and being stiff, and stiff

  • upper lip, and they don't laugh a lot,

  • they don't do all that kind of stuff.

  • I found the direct opposite of all of that.

  • But you hear that, and you begin to think that people really

  • don't understand what other people are all about.

  • When I got to this company-- it was called the Willis Group--

  • it didn't make very much money.

  • Didn't make any money at all.

  • So I had to do something to get everybody

  • engaged in the company.

  • And so what I did was-- and I didn't know this--

  • but I created these little pins that everybody

  • could wear with Willis on it.

  • And I thought that if everybody wore a pin

  • they'd become sort of like part of the company.

  • And everybody would start to feel a sense

  • of being a part of things.

  • And I didn't know the British don't like wearing pins.

  • Nobody told me that.

  • As a matter of fact, they're really disgusted with the pin.

  • But they knew that when I showed up,

  • if they didn't wear the pin, that I

  • would give them a hard time.

  • Which I never did.

  • I just stared at their lapels to see if they had a pin on.

  • So when people would walk down the hall,

  • I always knew that they didn't have a pin on,

  • because a woman would go in the men's room,

  • and a man would go in the women's room

  • so they wouldn't confront me.

  • And so one day-- and I knew that this happened in the company--

  • they felt that when they confronted me

  • they'd have to know what was going on.

  • They'd have to have a reason to not have their pin on.

  • So I get the one guy, and I look at his lapel,

  • I don't say anything to him.

  • And he says, "Oh, Mr. Chairman, I'm

  • sorry I don't have my pin on.

  • I left it on my pajamas."

  • When you think about that, and you

  • think about that kind of humor, you

  • wouldn't think that would come from what

  • your perception is of a Brit.

  • We dedicated a building in London a few years later.

  • Made the company successful.

  • Became a global company.

  • And I built a building in London right

  • across from Lloyd's of London.

  • So I have to dedicate the building, and they say to me,

  • "Who are you going to have to dedicate the building?"

  • I said, "Me.

  • I'm going to dedicate."

  • But apparently in London, you don't dedicate buildings

  • unless you have royalty in these buildings.

  • So a friend of mine says, I can get you some royalty.

  • I said, who could you get?

  • He picks up the phone, and he talks to Prince Andrew.

  • Now, I come from a neighborhood in Trenton, New Jersey.

  • I don't know royalty from Adam.

  • But he gets the prince to show up for the dedication.

  • Now in advance of the dedication,

  • I get a long list of things that you're not

  • supposed to do when you're around royalty.

  • One of them is, you don't touch royalty.

  • You just put your hands, and you don't touch them.

  • So I said, this makes me nervous, because I'm a toucher.

  • Like I did with all of you, I said hello when you came in.

  • It's just the way I am.

  • So I meet him outside the building.

  • And interestingly enough, he drives up

  • with his own Range Rover.

  • There's no entourage.

  • He just drives up by himself.

  • He gets out of the car.

  • So I feel more comfortable with him.

  • And it's going to be like three or four

  • hours before the two of us dedicate the building.

  • So I take him around and so forth.