Alexander cuts the Gordian Knot by Jean-Simon Berthélemy (1743-1811)

A college friend and lacrosse teammate, Peter Kaufman, founded a firm call The Gordian Group. I asked him about the brand name of his firm and he reminded me of the Greek Legend attributed to Alexander the Great. Peter’s nickname on the team was shortened to Killer Kaufman, for consonance and alliteration. Knowing a bit about the proverbial reference, I asked Killer to say more.

Henry Owsley & Peter Kaufman – The Gordian Group

He reminded me that the Gordian Knot is a legend of classic antiquity whose origins are from the regions of Greece and Turkey. Since the times of Alexander the Great, the town of Gordium had a history of confounding problems. The legend of complexity of Grodium matters has become a metaphor for a particularly complex problem. Much like the complexity of untying an impossibly tangled knot fear can take over and cloud our sight and our thinking. In the legend, Alexander was able to both discover hard-to-see yet easy approaches to the problem in front of you. The solution is often simple: the constraints to the problems, or knotty issues, are not as real as they are made in the minds of the perplexed bystanders. Using his years of leadership, Alexander had keen pattern recognition and wisdom. He appeared to be “cutting the knot” and slicing through the difficulties. We all could use some knot-cutting these days, right?

Killer Kaufman encouraged me to consider the most intricate problems of Wall Street. “You need smarts and pattern recognition, for sure, but you also need to deconstruct the situations with precision.” He said that more than anything, the world of finance needs of simple solutions, especially in distressed and complex stock and debt situations. On their website, the Gordian Group states that for thirty years it’s been a leading investment bank providing those financial advisory and consultation. It’s just another day on Wall Street to those with that sense of simplicity as their byword. As Peter confidently mentioned “we make our client’s goals our own, because alignment and results matter.”

What are the Gordian Knots in your life? Are you finding professionals with simple clarity and solutions? It’s time.