“Last week we discussed the importance of work,” I said, sitting up straight in my chair, looking my mentor directly in his eye. “Please go over the main points for me again,” I said putting pen to paper.
Setting his coffee mug on the table, and leaning back in his chair, my mentor reminded me, “Before investing time and wage-earning skills in a business or occupation, or when you consider devoting any resource to any enterprise, think about these main issues.”
Holding up his pointer finger, “Find out, whether there’s a demand for the products and services of an enterprise for years to come.” Gesturing with his index and middle finger in the sign for peace, “Study history. Discover the history of an industry, the specific company and learn about the executives. Be convinced the company you may join – or looking ahead – the company you may buy – is alert to new markets. If you’re confident the business is farsighted, but not foolish or speculative,” he said sternly holding up three fingers, “be sure you are not joining a business with a value that’s fluctuated dramatically since inception, or whose debts are unreasonable.”
I put my pen and paper down, “You’re presuming a company like that would hire somebody like me,” I ventured.
“That’s true,” he said with a nod and a smile. “Be assured that any executive, who doesn’t appreciate your active interest in the state of his company, and wants to reward your pro-active approach with an opportunity, is most likely not somebody you’d learn much from anyway. Executives who reject interest and intelligence isolate themselves from new ideas and progress. Eventually, that leads to failure. You can learn most from a mature, servant-leader,” he said pointing to my notebook.
Picking up my journaling tools, I asked, “What are the qualities of a leader?” Feeling a bit foolish at voicing what seemed an elementary question. Nevertheless, I sensed this was a question few apart from my mentor could answer with integrity.
“That’s a good question!” he exclaimed with a grin. Let’s go for a walk…
Chris Bryant is an American financial advisor.