Weekly Impact is written for leaders by our Executive Director, Garth Jestley, who has decades of experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. Each week he will share insights on life, leadership and faith.
June 24, 2016 – Life is full of surprises. I awoke early that morning to learn that the British had voted to leave the European Union. Based upon polling, it was clear for months that the vote to remain or leave (the latter dubbed “Brexit”) was going to be close. In fact, when I went to bed the night before, it looked like the UK would remain in the EU. In any event, the “leave camp” triumphed. The London Stock Exchange opened down 8% and the British pound swooned. Currency and securities markets around the world were extremely volatile throughout that day.
My former company did business in the UK. I spent a lot of time in the City of London and can only imagine what my friends and colleagues in the financial district dealt with that day. That said, I have been through many economic, political and market gyrations over the decades and know that the uncertainty and market volatility related to Brexit will eventually subside.
While I do not intend to comment on the pros and cons of the two sides of the referendum question, I personally encountered one of the issues that inflamed the leave camp. Years ago, I was involved in a sale transaction that required UK regulatory approval. The requirements were extremely burdensome and I complained to my UK legal counsel. They agreed that the requisite documentation was onerous but said nothing could be done. It turned out that the many rules with which we had to comply were not written by the UK government but rather were dictated by Brussels!
Life’s storms will come, but peace can be found through a firm foundation built on faith.
Is faith in God at all relevant to the Brexit scenario? Can one find peace in the storm? For me, the answer is “yes.” I think back to various huge challenges I have personally faced including the real estate and stock market meltdowns in 1990, the monumental financial crisis that unfolded in 2008, a cancer diagnosis (I am now cancer free!) and myriad other professional and personal challenges not uncommon to many of us.
The answer has always been the same. In each case, I have found real peace through my relationship with Jesus Christ. Do I know all the implications of Brexit for me and my family? No. Am I worried? No.
As recorded in the Bible, Jesus said: “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27)
Is your life peaceful? If not, I encourage you to connect with us.
Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.