One of the best leadership teachers in any era comes in the form of paper or metal.
We love it, hate it, covet it, or disdain it.
Our romance with money belongs in every leadership development program on the planet.
Ever hear the expression “You can never be too thin or too rich”? First, too thin is called anorexia and you can die from that. Too rich, question is what does the word really mean?
Rich in cold, hard cash, rich in love, rich in friends, rich in _________. You fill in the blank.
Money is so much more than a means of exchange for goods and services. It determines how we relate to family, friends, colleagues. Money can cause dissonance or harmony, it can make us serape or angry, and it can be a dream fulfiller or a dream destroyer.
New research, especially the work of Dan Ariely, whose book “Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions”, delves into the behavioral aspects of why we buy, or hoard, or share; how we decide what we prefer and how money shapes relationships. This is eye opening information as we continue to learn in this time of economically induced stress (at least for so many of us).
The hidden aspects of money are fascinating to bring to the surface. And in this year of per-election presidential debates the theme of money is front and center. Mitt Romney is proud of making a bundle, Ron Paul is okay with much less, Newt Gingrich confuses us with where he got his money, and Rick Santorum has to make sure he has enough for his family of nine.
This is a good time to take stock personally. One of the most important areas for leadership training is money education. Start by understanding the subtle (or overt) messages that reverberated in your family as you were growing up. Think back about how power games around money were played.
Were decisions shared about what to buy or did one person have all the say?
Was there money for vacations, luxuries, or surprises?
Start to observe your reactions to partners, parents, co-workers, bosses, and children. Even pay attention to your thoughts at the gas station and the super market.
What is your tale about money? Careful the tale you tell, that is the magic spell!