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.
Last week, I had lunch with an old friend. Following a successful stint as an entrepreneur, he has been an investment advisor with a major bank-owned firm for the last twenty years.
We first met fresh out of business school, both certain that our MBA was the ticket to success back when MBAs were still relatively scarce. While the degree certainly helped us land our first jobs and we both experienced business success, I do not know how much of that was attributable to our formal education. At lunch, we immediately agreed that neither had aged much in appearance but that both of us were now much more mature and definitely wiser!
Over lunch, he told me an interesting story. Sometime back, one of his clients took a two week cruise during which time he was completely out of contact with the news including the stock market. As it happened, the stock market declined precipitously during this two week window and then recovered fully just prior to his return from the cruise. Afterwards, he told my friend, “It looks like the markets didn’t do much while I was on vacation.”
In 2016, we are bombarded with data, frequently on a minute by minute basis, some accurate and some inaccurate. True confession: I just consulted an app on my iPhone and was encouraged to see that, for now at least, the stock market is up!
Anyhow, the key issue is not the amount and type of information we receive but rather how we process it. As per the foregoing example, my friend’s client might have experienced a lot of emotional upheaval had he not been cruising during the market meltdown.
The key to responding appropriately to urgent matters is having a long-term view.
In business, we sometimes must respond to the urgent. We have no choice. Often, however, what appears to be urgent is, in fact, something over which we have no control. Without exception, the worst response in these situations is an emotional, fear-based one. An important key to responding appropriately is having a long-term view.
For marketplace leaders who know Jesus, our long-term view is based upon God’s promises as recorded in the Bible. We believe we are secure in both life and death, the latter stretching throughout eternity. Now that is a really long-term view! It provides us with a positive and encouraging perspective when we hit the inevitable speed bumps in our professional and personal lives.
In the Bible, Paul captures this thought succinctly in his letter to the church in Corinth. “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18)
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Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.