James Ritchie from the USA shared a principle with me. He is a very successful leader and entrepreneur that retired first time in his early thirties already, having built at least over twenty different businesses successfully. The principle is: “We support what we create.”
He recently spent a day working with a room full of very bright and motivated people, committed to create something for the benefit of others knowing there was not a pennies worth of personal financial reward that would accrue to anyone present. According to Ritchie a comment was made by one of the brighter minds in the room:
“We support what we create!”
Ritchie continues: “He said it during a time when the nine people in the room had come together with some predetermined thoughts as to how the meeting ought to proceed and the ‘obvious’ conclusions that ought to be reached. Several of the people had never met each other before and some were of different faith than the majority of us. It was interesting observing and participating in the debate that ensued over the first few hours where the different ‘factions’ found themselves supporting that which they had created in preparation for this scheduled meeting. As each of us defended our cause and creation it became apparent that we were in for some tougher sledding than we had anticipated because so many in the room had already invested so much time in the creative genesis of the project.
Gradually, synergy began to happen! Why? I believe it was because everyone in the room began to jointly ‘recreate’ a bigger and better ‘mousetrap’ and as each made contributions to the new creation, support began to grow for the new, better looking and better designed program.
Another example would be how amazing it is when a mother looks upon her new born child, many of whom are less than beauty queen material when first born, but notice how the matriarchal creator of each of these urchins unconditionally loves, cuddles and protects and totally supports! Amazing – but it fits the theme of this lesson. We support (and usually love) what we create!
We have all come to this earth to create; new life, healthy body, financial independence, happy family, terrific marriage, great business or career – and in the process of creation we do everything to support and defend and be loyal to those creations. When we fail to create but only consume or take from others we lose all the joy and power that is reserved for the creators.
That’s what is happening to America. We are fast losing the creators and becoming instead a land of moochers, takers and entitlement people and as such we are losing our moral backbone and our creating mentality. We must be careful even in our families and typically strong conservative communities where much of that history of creation is being replaced with a ‘gimme’ mentality or ‘I deserve it” or even “I want it but not enough to go work for it’. We are on a slippery slope and the incline is getting steeper and the possibility of all of us ending up on the bottom end of that pile of spoiled rubbish is scary. It must not happen but it could – and will – if the creators stop creating and loving what they have created.
We support what we create. Love the principle and may it never change!”
How successful are you as a leader at involving your people in creating and by implication multiplying creators? How relevant are these comments in our broader South African sociopolitical and economic landscape? Are we developing creators? Are we instilling a culture of rewarding creators, or are we entrenching a culture of entitlement, a ‘gimme’ or ‘I deserve it’ mentality?
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Do you recognize some areas in yourself or your team that need improvement? Email Adriaan on firstname.lastname@example.org for more on creating “Leadership Fit” leaders that generate successful movement (performance) inside your organisation.