I received a call from a client the other day, let’s call him Steve, who I have not worked with in a couple years. He had moved on to a new job with a new company and one of his assignments is to identify and prepare leaders for the growth his organization is planning over the next five to seven years.
As I listened to Steve talk about the challenges the organization will face, it became clear to both of us that the leadership talent needed for the future does not currently exist in the organization.
At the end of the conversation, Steve said something that really stuck with me, “Sure, we can go out and get talent when we need it, but then we waste 12 to 18 months of them figuring things out and learning our culture. We need to grow our talent so that we can harvest it when we need it most!”
I hung up the phone from talking with Steve and my next call was with an old friend who I talk with once a month or so, we’ll call him Sam. Sam and I will usually spend some time talking about our IRA’s and retirement. What is interesting is that Sam and I had both spoken to our financial advisors the week prior regarding how nervous we are about the stock market moving up and down. Both of our advisors told us that the only way for us to reach our financial goals was to stay in the market.
Both Sam and I heard loud and clear from two different sources that the only way for us to hit our financial goals was to stay invested. The reason for this is because of the value of investing and compound interest. You really do not see the value of compound interest for a few years, but once it kicks in the growth is quite substantial.
Then it hit me.
The conversation I had with Steve and the conversation I had with Sam were really the same conversation.
One was about growing financial resources to achieve a goal, and the other was about growing human resources to achieve a goal.
Both of them require an initial investment. Both of them require some rides up and down the growth curve. This takes patience, impulse control, and a lot of putting fear in its proper place.
The question I am asking myself these days is how many senior executives have their retirement portfolio totally stashed in a money market account that is drawing 1% interest? My guess is zero of them.
So, why are we not investing in talent in the same strategic way that we are investing for our retirement?
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Drop me a comment below or shoot me an email.