Tuesday, October 02, 2007

It's not just you that doesn't understand the financial responsibility piece!

Last week I presented to a group of about 40 people on the ideas around Life Puzzle making. When I got to the Financial responsibility piece--I asked, "How many here, by the time you graduated high school or college understood how to manage money?" And the heads all shook no, and everyone started laughing--this happens just about every time I ever ask this question.

Yes, the financial responsibility piece is a gaping hole in most every one's Life Puzzle--yet there's absolutely no way to live on this planet without dealing with it. It's amazing isn't it?

On Friday, September 28th, I was watching Bill Moyer's Journal. He was interviewing John Bogle who created the Vanguard Group which is one of the most successful mutual fund management groups. Now 77, Bogle was sharing his views on the current state of the economy and specifically--the stockmarket/investor world. It's not a pretty picture and he's quite upset about it. Essentially, the 'value' of money has become a value unto itself. And those who work in the field have lost the fundamentals of not only money management but the value of what role money should play in our lives.

As I listened it occurred to me how the people he's describing--those who put money first over everything else, have something missing in their own Life Puzzles! Financial has become disconnected from "responsibility". As Bogle described what the Habana Health Corporation had done in Tampa (essentially putting the making of money as more primary than caring for their clients/doing the work of the corporation--thus reducing staff to dangerous levels, risking clients lives all for the sake of a better bottom-line), I thought--this is a result of the choices these people are making. How could a man or woman choose to run a corporation this way? And to me, the only answer is that on a personal Life Puzzle-making level--these people have poorly formed edges and thus a SELF that can make choices that are 0-5, reactive and unconscious. While these few will pocket millions, they do it at the expense of people who, in their last stages of life can not protest or protect themselves.

While I'm sad, as is Bogle, for this debacle--in many ways, I'm saddest for the human beings who could treat others with such disregard simply to line their pockets with money. Clearly they do not understand the role the money plays in one's Life Puzzle. As I've always said, if you don't understand how to manage money, money will manage you. And for these folks, this lack of understanding, matched with poorly formed edges/SELF, results in a lose/lose for all.

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