Value and values

Salut Tash Appreciators,

This week, I’ve spent a couple of train rides home reading the Time “100 most influential people in world” edition. 

I had a couple of problems with it. Firstly, and unbelievably, neither I nor Tash Friday have made the list; secondly, Craig Whyte is not in the villains section (one of them was just a Somalian warlord – what’s he done!?); thirdly, there are four chefs in it and none of them are called Mr Domino; and fourthly, not one of the dudes on the list has a Tash.  

One person who did make the list – in the mogul category – wholeheartedly has my vote. So much so that I read his entry first. Also, in the tradition of the edition (#Hiphopapotamus), every person on the list has a blurb written by some impossibly well qualified commentator and, in the case of this gentleman, I’m a big fan of the commentator too. 

Anyway, when this guy was 11, he used his entire savings to buy three shares in Cities Service Preferred. Within a couple of months the stock plummeted and he was left with nothing. As you can imagine, as he made the list, he came back from that initial disappointment and ended up being worth about $50billion. 

My point is that he became successful and, more importantly, he stayed successful by investing in companies with real promise. He would only invest in them if they were credible and had long-term prospects; bubbles were not part of this guy’s portfolio. As a result, he wasn’t raking in massive windfalls but over time the cash piled up. He has since tried to get rid of most of it by giving it to charities. 

I’ve got a lot of time for his attitude. He looks for real value rather than just the stock price. That involves looking behind the perhaps more immediately appealing elements of the stock, or company, or whatever. 

We can operate on that basis too. I hear about people not getting jobs because they told the truth about having ambitions to go on and do other things, or because one of the interview panel is chums with one of the other candidates. If employers all sought real value, and chose to work with people with integrity, drive and ambition I can categorically say that we’d all be better off. It’s back to this lingering greed issue and that most people cannot see past short term advantage or choose to just take the path of least resistance. It drives me mental and it’s always people I know who are suffering as a result.

But who is this chap I’m talking about? Well, it’s this guy:
Warren Buffett. He’s described in Time as being a man who has “handed down plenty of lessons over the years. Today, at 81, he reminds us that life is not just about the value you seek. It’s about the values you stand for.” 
Remember I said that I also liked the person who wrote the blurb about Mr Buffett? Yeah, it was Obama – that last quote is from the President himself! The lesson I take from this is that if you’re dealing with someone, or an organisation, and they can’t see either the value you offer nor the values you stand for then they ain’t worth dealing with. If they are blind to what you have to offer or, worse still, choose to ignore them, then the chances are they’re going nowhere anyway.  Find somewhere where your value and values will be appreciated and you won’t go far wrong.
To end this week, I have decided to add the 101st most important influential person in the world. His name is Francois Verkerk and he’s bringing the Tash to the masses in a major way. He’s certainly influenced me!
That’s me for this week folks. Have a fantastic weekend!

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