Our quest to find and secure wealth is an age-long one and rightly so because wealth sustains us and gives substance to the relationship we have with our environment. No doubt this quest involves inventive skills, resourcefulness, a creative imagination, endurance and challenges; but this has not stood in the way of our ability to acquire and store up wealth.
Wealth is a very important element of life and it plays a significant role in what I call the three levels of living which are: Survival, Success and Significance. In as much as it is important to acquire it, the benefit of it can only be fully appreciated when it is kept safe.
How wealth loss affects you.
Wealth loss can affect your physical and mental state. It has the potential to cause a destabilization and a decline in function. It can also result in termination of operations and functions; and this can be excruciating. The feelings associated with wealth loss are numerous yet individual. Someone described it like this: “it feels as though external objects are closing up on you to suffocate you”. Another person described it this way: “it feels like somebody is viciously tugging at your vital organs with the intention of ripping them out”. And yet another: “your whole life flashes before you and you feel like it’s all over”. For those of you who have lost excess wealth and it has left you down and out, I’m sure you can relate to this to a certain extent.
4 simple ways to avoid excessive wealth loss:
- Spend Sensibly.
Spending can significantly increase wealth loss. Our human and organisational needs give us lots of genuine reasons to spend. If done carelessly and/or mindlessly, it will be at the expense of ample wealth loss in a rather short period of time.
- Seek out cover.
Set up an arrangement, system or agreement that protects your wealth from unnecessary loss. Take it a step further and also set up something that protects you from running into more loss if you have already lost something substantial.
- Stay calm.
When you are under pressure, making the best decisions might be far-fetched. As difficult as it might be, try to stay calm mentally so that you do not make inappropriate decisions triggered by erratic emotions.
- Keep it Simple.
Try not to complicate your affairs. Keep things simple and clear so that it is easy to understand and interpret. Doing this will give you immunity from the tight constraint of austerity.
Until next time, continue to;
Lead right and Live light
Tests are a part of life and are not unique to just leaders.
You go out everyday and other road users just push your buttons: the traffic lights change abruptly, the other driver cuts you off and even has the guts to swear at you, the passenger next to you on the bus/train just wouldn’t stop yapping at the top of his voice, the lady with the double buggy blocks the door way and is just chatting away mindlessly on the phone. You parent your kids and your sanity is sometimes dangling on a thread: there’s water on the floor of the kitchen and no one admits to doing it or attempts to clean it up, there’s wall art on your freshly painted wall and your three-year old happily drags you there to show you her creative design, your house smells really lovely and familiar only for you to get to your room and find your adorable son standing in front of your dressing table with now empty bottles of your perfumes and an apologetic look on his face. You work with colleagues and you wonder why everyone just has to get on your nerves: your team is lagging behind on the project, you’ve just been summoned because of a false allegation, you are constantly being micro managed as a team leader and it’s getting more and more frustrating. You reckon everyone else has got it in for you so you find a way to squeeze in that ‘me time’ for yourself; but even then, you find out that your own thoughts have it in for you too.
Ever so often our patience, character, identity, loyalty, etc., is tested. Because of who we are and the roles we occupy, we are constantly tested–consciously or unconsciously. These tests are real life scenarios that acts as indicators to our growth and development levels. They draw unmistakable lines between who we were, who we are and who we are becoming. They determine how genuine or adulterated we are in terms of our relationship with ourselves and with others.
Every leader’s presence, quality, ability, intelligence, skill, character, capacity and resilience will be tested before and during his/her existence as a leader. You’ll be constantly tested in 3 main areas at almost every point of your leadership journey and these areas are:
- Provision. Needs and wants are common features of demand and your position enables you to play a significant role in offering supply to these two features. Your tests in this area tend towards how you use your position to either get what you want or to supply what is needed. You need to realise that it is not just about satisfying your ‘appetite’, it’s mostly about sustaining your existence. Don’t be too hasty to get what you want at all cost, only for you to end up begging for what you need.
- Protection. The importance of your reputation as a leader cannot be over-emphasised. You do need to protect yourself but at what cost? and what exactly are you protecting and from what? Are you willing to bring someone else down in order to protect yourself? Do you constantly control everything just to drive home the point that you are in charge?
- Power. You’ve probably heard of such a term as : ‘power drunk’. Leaders are at risk especially of using their position to cripple others. With leadership comes authority and power no doubt; but not in the way it is sometimes used ( I explained power and authority in my book: Leadership Maxims…sound principles for leadership excellence). Your role is not a tool for tyranny or assault, neither is it a vehicle for the deception of others into blind and selfish submission.
Every now and again you’ll be tested in these 3 areas and what you discover will help you realise who you really are; whether you are an authentic leader or an adulterated leader.
Until next time, continue to;
Lead right and Live light
What exactly does this even mean when applied to leadership? How do you move with the times without dis-stabilising the very foundation and essence of your leadership?
For those who do not have depth in their leadership, this might not make much sense to you but for those leaders who do have depth and a stable foundation upon which they have built their leadership, this will make truckloads of sense to you.
In my opinion, the idea of even creating ‘the times’ is in order to keep things new and fresh; the reason why one thing is in season today and then becomes obsolete the next is because things need to be kept appealing and less complex. The issue with this when applied to leadership is this: It gets tiring when you have to keep changing just to fit into a mould of what’s in and what’s not in, at different times. So, does this then mean that you never upgrade or update? Absolutely not! Skills, marketing styles, sales channels and operational techniques might require an upgrade at one time or another but even when this happens, make sure it’s for the purpose of making your life and/or job easier and making your business more profitable. Otherwise, it would be classified under waste and loss.
What I am saying is this: never trade your depth and stability for constantly moving trends and ever changing times. Your depth and stability is what has brought you to the point you are at now; those hardly change with the times. Your character and values are NOT subject to trends. I do not suppose it makes sense to change from being an honest person to becoming a chancer, a thief or one who indulges in embezzlement or chicanery simply because times have changed and you have to move with it.
Here’s the point I’m making: when you are moving with the times, weigh the cost against your stability and your reputation. Consider if it is a worthy investment or not.
Do not short-change yourself by trading in both the long-term and the short-term for seasonal trends.
Remember this: Trends only last for a season!
Lead right and Live light
Investments are a necessity for Survival, Success and Significance (I like to refer to these 3 S’s as the three levels of living). There’s an age old saying that goes thus: “the time to plant, and the time to harvest that which has been planted will never cease”. Nothing could be more true!
As long as we remain alive on this earth, there will be investments made and there will be returns on investments made; that is the cycle of life and it is what keeps it going. Last week, I talked about how investment is the reason why we hurt so much when we suffer loss and it’s true. An investment of your time, resources and effort towards a person or a cause is what makes you hurt so much when you lose him/her/it and this is because you have poured out of what you are into that person or cause. You have planted a seed and now you have no harvest to gather; you’re in deficit (I guess that’s why it’s called loss by the way…hmm) and trust me, that hurts like…
Point to note: The level of investment made determines your level of connection to that person or cause; and this is what sets the level on your ‘pain-o-meter’ when the loss occurs.
Just like the food example I gave last week, you cannot decide to stop investing in life simply because you fear what might happen if you reap loss. A farmer who decides not to plant or rear livestock because he/she fears that he/she will suffer loss can hardly be called a farmer. Not only will such a farmer struggle to survive but he/she will also never succeed and will never get the fulfillment of living a life of true significance.
Survival, Success and Significance are the three levels of living that apply not only to leaders but to every individual alive; and in order for us to experience a well-rounded life on these three levels, investment is a must. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose but we cannot afford not to invest because of the fear that we might lose some. A farmer knows that not all the seeds he/she plants in one season will produce a bountiful harvest but that does not stop him/her from diligently planting from one season to the next. The only reason he/she is called a farmer is because of the regular investments made. The only reason you are who you claim to be or who your role defines you as; is because of your investments. A director, a manager, a mother, a farmer, a teacher, a father, a pastor, you name it; all of these roles exist because of the investments made on a regular basis.
Loss should not stop you from constantly investing, neither should disappointments nor rejection; for when you stop investing in any area of your life, you stop any chance of reaping a harvest in that area of your life. You might not have all you want right now or you might have lost someone or something of great importance to you. Whatever the case might be, you still have seeds to sow, you’re never at that point where you cannot invest something. Whatever position you are in right now is an opportunity to invest. Invest in: your business, your spouse, your children, your mentees, your team members, your congregation, your clients, your customers, your students, etc., and keep the cycle of life going. The seeds you sow today will be your abundant harvest tomorrow. In order words, the investments you make today, will be the profits you enjoy tomorrow.
Now that you know this about investment, you can either choose to cower in fear, refuse to invest and live a frustrating mediocre life; or you can step out in courage, consistently invest and predominantly enjoy a successful and meaningful life. The choice is yours!!!
Until next time, continue to
Lead right and Live light