Jim Cramer is an Elk

That’s right. Jim Cramer—the frenetic, genius, controversial, Harvard-educated and sometimes villified stock picking guru of “Mad Money” fame—is a member of the Elk’s club in Summit, NJ. I know this because I was recently pointed to an article about Cramer in the Sunday NY Times magazine.

The author of the article, Zev Chafets, spent a few days with Cramer before writing the piece and one evening was invited to Cramer’s Elks Club to meet the guys and play a little air hockey and shoot pool. Perhaps your first reaction to this news was like mine—seems a little unlikely and…what’s the catch? Turns out, there is no real catch according to the author, who does a good job objectively profiling Cramer I might add.

Cramer has had a roller-coaster ride of a life and by his own admission, feels lucky to be alive. And in his world, he’s a personality, a performer, an author who says he is sincerely trying to help the little guy make money in the stock market. He’s lost money of course, but made a lot more. In short, he’s a very visible dude. And yet here he is, hanging out with the local businessmen and leaders of Summit, NJ drinking beer and shooting pool. Why? He wants to be there—in my judgment he needs to be there. He says the Elks are “…good fathers, good men, good friends. To them, it comes naturally. It doesn’t to me. I learn from them”.

In my work with execs and high-achievers, I sometimes encounter folks like Cramer. And often, all they want is to be liked and accepted for who they are as human beings versus admired for their persona or net worth. And they yearn to spend time with good, grounded people—“good kings” as I call them. By the way, they can be male or female, these good kings. It’s not about gender, it’s about who they are at a soul level. Spending time with good kings, like the Elks of Summit, NJ, is healing for Cramer—that’s one of the reasons he’s become one of them. So, what’s the catch? There, he can just be Jim.