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Our Communities Need Leaders Now, Not Promises of Money Later

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Our Communities Need Leaders Now, Not Promises of Money Later

Many things in life and business depend upon insights grown and tested over time. Good habits take time to grow and practice. Wisdom and efficiency take time to perfect.  Even the best business authors take 20 years to become an overnight success.

In the same way, a marathon runner begins training their mind long before they perfect their running style, so training to run a bigger game in business often begins in the smallest of habits and consistency of values.

A person doesn’t wake up one day suddenly able to run a marathon, and neither does a person wake up one day a master of business. They each need to train over time and practice getting better. What you purposefully value will naturally rise to the top of the list of things perfect and receive your maximum attention. What doesn’t make the list runs low on your attention and skill development.

What you want to achieve needs to become part of you now

What you want to achieve in life and business needs to become a vital part of who you are now so that you can add to the depth of those foundations over time. Choices about who you want to be, what you’re known for and the part you want to play in the world – these questions need to be asked early and often and became part of your training regime.

“Money often clouds purpose as it creates a false substitute for defining success.” –  Drew Browne

I was recently at a business dinner chatting with a stranger at my table.  He was quick to inform me how his company led the world in manufacturing a particular product and was about to do something equally spectacular within the Chinese market he’d cornered. He outlined in detail the depth of his preparation and his financial commitment to the plan.

A man of three children to three wives, he went on to assure me he had no regrets in life whatsoever. After a lengthy monologue (where I hoped to be rescued by the arrival of the dessert cart) and perhaps sensing my waning interest, he switched gears reaching for the humanity leaver and proudly proclaimed “… and when I die, we’ll just give it all away to the underprivileged children of the world”.  An uncomfortable silence ensued as if waiting for applause, or something… crickets.

I wanted to ask him about his plans for the underprivileged children of the world. Did he have a particular group in mind? Did he see any value in applying his considerable business acumen on their behalf now, rather than just giving them money later? I wanted to ask was there anything his keen business eyes saw today he could make a positive change to now? But I felt embarrassed that he might not have applied his mind to those concepts yet (he not being dead and all that.)

As the dessert cart arrived, I politely excused myself and sought sanctuary in a strategically placed Tiramisu and poorly made coffee. I was left wondering about the ability of whoever was going to have the job of distributing his money to the yet undefined ‘underprivileged children of the world’. 

Would the executor of this estate, be able to draw the same level of insights and business acumen as the savvy businessperson I’d been listening too over three courses? I wondered if his final comments were as unconsidered as his plans for this part of his life?

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Over 80% of all bequests to charity left in a Will are overturned by the executor and surviving family members. Over 60% of all Australians don’t have a will.

Our communities need leaders now, not promises of money later

Why wait until later to put your expertise to purposeful use.  Why risk running out of time or even losing the opportunity to participate?  The skill of Small Business is in helping to solve people’s meaningful problems today. Our ability to insightfully cut through the fog and get value for our dollar is what built our small business success in the first place.

Today we need businesses who will make money and make a difference – at the same time.

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“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"



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