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Leadership at the peak –Purpose and wealth

By George W Nyabadza

A FEW years ago I facilitated a strategic retreat for a group of senior executives from a Harare-based merchant bank.



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During the retreat in the beautiful Eastern Highlands I had the opportunity to talk one-on-one with the chief executive on several occasions. One aspect of our conversations is still very clear to me. I remember one CEO made this statement a number of times during that weekend: “Many in our society say that you occupy a high moralistic position but my view is that it may not benefit you much as it doesn’t pay well, I mean there is no money in it.”



Whilst I recall defending my choice to become a consultant I have never stopped thinking to myself how leaders have the power to influence people’s choices about their pursuits. I have no doubt that this esteemed gentleman speaks at different forums at all levels of society and that people take note of what he says and applies them to their own lives. He is after all successful in his own right. For me this wasn’t the first time a leader had questioned the potential financial value of being a leadership and personal development coach and in subtle ways hinted that remaining or re-entering the corporate world would be a more viable option.


Indeed venturing out in pursuit of your purpose or starting out in business doesn’t come with any success guarantees. Many people have asked me how one can pursue his dreams whilst still needing to have a steady flow of income to meet daily needs. Whilst there are several steps one must go through to minimise the impact of stepping out on a new venture, and I will go through these latter, I believe the most crucial step is to be mentally prepared for the challenges that will come your way.


Doubters come in two shapes; those that sincerely want you to fail and those that genuinely hold no guile, like this executive, but are misguided in their opinions about the pursuit of individual purpose. I am a firm believer that if you diligently pursue your purpose you will attain such high levels of excellence, creativity and genius that wealth will only but follow you. It doesn’t happen overnight, like everything of value, time tests and purifies but will ultimately lead to the creation of an enterprise and products with a limitless market.


If you are about to embark on your own venture in pursuit of self-expression and enterprise here are a few things you need to put in place to make the journey as smooth as possible.


Firstly, prepare your mind for the human tests and challenges along the way. They will come, as there are many well-wishers as well as detractors out there. Do not be dissuaded from the pursuit of your purpose. It’s your life, live it. Secondly, you need to ensure you are debt-free or that, if you are married, your spouse’s income can comfortably cover your mortgage bill for example and any other recurring or fixed costs. One thing you need to avoid is planning that your new venture generates enough money to carry your fixed costs, it may not. Those promised contracts or engagements may not come through irrespective of the assurances your clients may have provided you.


Thirdly, be prepared to cut out the luxuries of life. For a while as you may move towards the “promised land” you may have to do with un-tasty manna as you wait for the milk and honey to flow. Entrepreneurship is an exciting and challenging lifestyle but it has costs attached to it.


Fourthly, understand that the only person who has the heartbeat of the vision is you; you have to hold onto your vision, keep it alive, and nurture it until it is birthed into real life. But even during the birthing process the unbelieving world may cause an abortion unless you keep the process sterile from limited and petty thinking. Many are the unborn or still-born visions of the weak-minded and easily distracted. Do all you can to avoid this fate.

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