“Insist upon yourself. Be original.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist and poet, 1803-1882
Pam Harper & Scott Harper’s News & Views
“You are not in charge of the universe; you are in charge of yourself.”
—Arnold Bennett, British Novelist, 1867-1931
I just returned from a conference for boards of directors. One of the themes was the importance of taking a long-term focus in order to create lasting value for companies and for investors. For more on how to do this in your company, stay tuned for next month’s issue of The Harper Report.
Beyond creating value for companies, however, this message also had me thinking about how important it is for individuals to take a long term focus in order to create lasting value for ourselves, our families, and for the world as a whole. Admittedly, this is a tough challenge. Between the immediacy of daily demands, pressures, and crises, it can seem difficult enough to get through each day, let alone find time to spend focusing on how we’re adding value in the long term. But living a life focused purely on short-term objectives keeps us from ever reaching our true potential.
The next time you feel caught up focusing on the short term, ask yourself what assumptions you’re making about the Who, What, When, Where and Why of these activities. If you’re like many people, you’ll find that there may be more ways than you originally thought possible to accomplish your immediate needs. This is one way to “find” time to devote to activities geared for creating long-term value.
Whether in business or in personal life, taking a long-term focus is not for the faint of heart. It takes commitment and persistence to overcome the temptation to go for short-term rewards and payoffs. But in my mind, the benefits of creating lasting value are more than worthwhile.
Sign placed at the entrance of a crowded sidewalk cafe.
*“Do What You Say You Will Do”
Source: Credibility by James Kouzes and Barry Posner (Jossey Bass)