Peter Linneman: A Giant Amongst Men

A Giant Amongst Men

I try to make a reasonable habit of reflecting on the journey of life. Recently there has been alot of exciting new variables added to me life and as I reflect I can’t get out of my mind the power and importance of one of my favorite teachers and mentors from my 4 years at Wharton, Peter Linneman.

I find myself constantly coming back to how fortunate I was to have Peter as a professor during those formidable years of my life. While I had many great professors in school, no one could stack up to Peter.

He had an unrivaled passion for teaching and fundamental passion for the betterment of his students that no other professor could rival. Furthermore, he was, and still likely is, one of ONLY a handful people in this universe who literally commanded the respect of every real estate industry professional, our president included!! Another absolutely incredible feat.

As I have gotten older I have come to realize one of the reasons Peter was so important to me and SO many other students was for a completely different reason, more than almost anyone else I know he imparted REAL wisdom about life and the things that TRULY matter. He peppered this into his classes for all of his students to take in but it was those of us who got to know him past our time in class that most benefited from Peter’s incredible humbleness, street smarts, and life lived as an ever evolving reflective human being truly looking to make the most of his time on this earth.

About 8 years ago Peter did what they like to call in Yiddish a mitzvah when he memorialized in writing 89 of his most important life lessons. To this day it is one of pertinent and important documents I have ever read. In good times and bad I keep finding myself coming back to the Linneman Lessons to help keep me grounded, motivated, reflective and on course. I will keep this with me for the rest of my life and as I hope to start a family of my own I intend to pass down much of these lessons to children of my own.

As a huge proponent of the open-knowledge, I wanted to memorialize and share Peter Linneman’s Life Lessons. I hope I am not offending you by sharing these to anyone who finds their way to this URL Peter and I will gladly take this down if you wish to have these remain private but now more than ever we could benefit from true truths about the world that no amount of continued technological progression or political upheaval will ever change.

idLesson linnemanLesson isTop10Lesson
1 You always have time for what is important to you NA
2 Physical fitness is critical; so stay in shape (and start now) NA
3 Decide what you want to achieve and strive for it NA
4 Be forgiving NA
5 Let the people who matter know how you feel about them NA
6 People are the ultimate assets NA
7 Enjoy what you do and success will follow NA
8 Ideas (and talk) are cheap; execution is valuable NA
9 Keep learning all through you life NA
10 Get rich slowly NA
11 Travel, observe, and respect other ways of life NA
12 Do the right thing simply because it is the right thing to do TRUE
13 All parents are strange and difficult; so don’t take it personally if yours are strange and difficult NA
14 Find out who you are and stay true to your values TRUE
15 Take time to reflect on life from time to time NA
16 You always have a home here in Philly NA
17 Don’t lose your cool about things you cannot possibly control TRUE
18 Issues are much easier to resolve than people NA
19 Be patient but aggressive NA
20 Careers and lives are not linear, so be open to unexpected changes NA
21 Judgment is far more important than intellect TRUE
22 Focus on getting people over their threshold resistance NA
23 There is no “perfect/correct” answer in life; many can work NA
24 Being apolitical makes it easier to see reality NA
25 Life isn’t fair, so don’t be upset when things are unfair NA
26 Act, don’t react NA
27 Have both a professional and private life to balance the ups and downs that occur on either side NA
28 It is easy to raise money if you’re not doing it NA
29 There are just a few bullshit lines that get repeated over time NA
30 You don’t understand…” means “you probably understand” NA
31 Renting isn’t so bad NA
32 Assume it was your fault; then ask how you could have made it better TRUE
33 Marriage is about creating 3 people from 2: you, me and us; most people want it to be me and us NA
34 Strive to find your “gifts” NA
35 Members of the opposite gender can just be friends NA
36 Open doors in life and good things can happen NA
37 You never fail; things sometimes just don’t work quite as planned NA
38 Analyze then leap NA
39 Find friends who are good; avoid negative people NA
40 Pick your conflicts; most disputes are not worth fighting TRUE
41 Why ever do less than the best you can? TRUE
42 Be positive NA
43 It’s the journey – not the things – that matter in life TRUE
44 Putting people before profits will generally result in a life of profits TRUE
45 Putting profits before power will generally yield a life of power NA
46 Take care of the people you love NA
47 You may never get a second chance to tell people how you feel about them NA
48 Have friends of different ages and outside your immediate circle NA
49 Take deep breaths sometimes to clear you head NA
50 Genius is the outcome of hard work every day; not a eureka experience TRUE
51 “Eating” is good; but people are the key If you don’t have wealth, don’t think getting it will bring happiness (as opposed to comfort) NA
52 Share what you have (pay it forward) NA
53 Don’t stress over sunk costs NA
54 Revise and improve along the way NA
55 Just be the best you that you can be NA
56 Don’t worry what others think; know what and why you are doing something, and do it Then it is what it is NA
57 Treat everyone (janitor to boss) the same They all deserve respect NA
58 Share common values (not hobbies/pastimes) with partners NA
59 Far better to give a gift than to receive a gift NA
60 Travel light (both in life and on the road) NA
61 Strive to explain complex things simply NA
62 It’s you (not technology/slides) they are there to hear NA
63 Be prepared to adjust NA
64 Have discipline but be relaxed NA
65 Assess your audience before you start to speak NA
66 A 26.24% IRR is silly, no one is 2% smart NA
67 “What is the bet?” is the critical question NA
68 Borrowing children can yield blessings beyond your dreams NA
69 Life will end; face it and embrace the joy of their life rather than the sadness of their death NA
70 “I’m just a humble school teacher” NA
71 Saying “no” is as important as saying “yes”, only tougher NA
72 The best deals are often the ones you didn’t do NA
73 Stick to what you know, but keep learning NA
74 Lose money for others first NA
75 The machine is rarely the problem; the people operating the machine are the problem NA
76 Laugh, smile and be happy NA
77 Embrace the 11th Commandment: thou shalt not take yourself so seriously NA
78 In every good market there are bad deals, and every bad market there are good deals NA
79 Negotiating partnership agreements is like planning a divorce before the wedding NA
80 Marry a saint NA
81 To interview well, think of yourself like a stripper; you need to be proud of who you are and show them your assets NA
82 Your job in life is to convey who you are If people don’t like it, that’s their problem NA
83 Overnight success almost always took 10-25 years NA
84 All you have is your reputation NA
85 Taking profits is a good think NA
86 Don’t engage in mental masturbation; focus on decisions that matter NA
87 In the battle between fear and greed, greed wins about 80% of the time NA
88 Generosity is cheap over the long term, as you will receive benefits many times over during your life NA
89 There are very few things in life that can’t be fixed, so don’t go crazy when things break NA
90 Never tell you spouse “you are just like your mother (or father)” NA
91 It is meant to be mean and they will view it as a very nasty statement NA
92 Remember that the world did just fine before you got here, and will get along fine when you are gone. And not more than about a dozen people will truly cry when they hear of your death, so do not feel so special NA
93 Always keep learning NA
94 Say “I love you” a lot; it feels good to say it and better to hear it NA
95 Trying to talk with haters is a fool’s game; it achieves nothing except making you feel upset NA
96 Being subtle is not a gift bestowed on the young; it is learned as you wrinkle NA
97 Just when you think you have figured out life, along comes something horrible that shakes you to your core; be patient as shortly thereafter something wonderful and amazing will happen NA
98 If you do not open the door when opportunity knocks, you will never realize it was there NA

Parting Thoughts

Thank you for being you, Peter. You have touched my life and the lives of so many more. You are a true giant amongst men