As the year draws to a close we all have been taking stock. The progress made or lack of it. It’s so easy to get discouraged. You feel the clock is ticking too fast and there is so much to be done in so little time. You probably feel you have not made as much progress as you would have wanted. The goals you set at the beginning of year now look like a mirage. The hands are drooping, the knees are feeble, the shoulders are sagging and your spirit might have grown weary. Yet there is so much to thank God for. Think about the recession you survived, the sickness you overcame, the promotion you got, the business opportunity, gift of friendship/fellowship, family. I want to share the importance of seeing value around us. We need value creators more than ever before. We need to build people, businesses, nations, families through seeing the value in them.
Count Your Blessings
As a management consultant, I work with different clients experiencing different challenges. One of the things I do is not to get into an assignment and look at all the things which are not working well only. The starting point is always to say “what is working well here?” This approach is called appreciative inquiry as opposed to deficit inquiry. More often than not, I discover there are a lot of things that work well for that client. I then build a solution around the things which are working well. This principle I will call the principle of counting your blessings. Instead of looking at what has not worked well, this year, why not list all the things which have worked well for a difference? As you do this it puts a positive spin to your year and lifts your spirit.
To Create Value You Must See Value
I recently read a story about one of the most successful music producers of all time Berry Gordy of the Motown Records label. He raised music icons including Diana Ross, the Jackson 5, The Commodores, The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, and Marvin Gaye among others. He had an eye for value. He could see what nobody else could see in these music stars.
His most successful story is easily the Jackson 5. Later know as The Jacksons they included the late Michael, Jermaine, Jackie, Tito and Marlon. Berry Gordy discovered them from a small town called Gary in Indiana (USA) and turned them into pop icons with a cross racial global appeal. Today this sounds like an easy thing, but when you look at this against the backdrop of the race issues in the US during the 1960s, you realise it took a lot of courage and faith to groom The Jacksons. Where everyone else saw a bunch of black boys from a working class township, Berry saw an ensemble of music stars destined for the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. He had well developed value intelligence (VQ).
Value Is Not Always So Obvious
To experience the power of appreciation you need to develop your value intelligence. Value intelligence is the ability see or create something out of nothing. It is the skill to develop possibilities out of the impossible and a capacity to see beyond the ordinary. Time and space would fail me if I shared about Nobel Laureate, Muhammed Yunus who started Grameen Bank. He started by lending a few dollars to 42 rural Bangladeshi women who were basket weavers in 1974. From less than USD100, today Grameen Bank is a multibillion dollar bank in Asia with over 8 million beneficiaries. Yunus appreciated the value in these hitherto ‘unbankable’ women and supported them. None of these women defaulted on their repayments yet conventional bankers would categorise them as high risk. To see value you need to go beyond the normal risk thresholds because value is not so obvious.
I once shared about Success Intelligences which included Intelligence Quotient (IQ), Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and Spiritual Intelligence (SQ). I had further revelation on this and would like to add a new intelligence called Value Intelligence (VQ). This is a supreme intelligence which is the difference between the most and least successful amongst us. IQ will give you a reasonable head, EQ will give you a great heart and SQ will give you a seasoned spirit. However, Value Intelligence (VQ) combines your head (IQ), heart (EQ) and spirit (SQ) to create value.
It might too late to make a brand new start this year, but it’s early enough to make a brand new ending. You might have checked into the year not so glamorously, and the journey might even have been bumpy, but you can check out in style. The one sure way to do this is to count your blessings and have an attitude of gratitude. See the value around you and be appreciative of what the Creator has done for you. What more the Creator is the master value creator…He saw the value in you and me and paid it with His only begotten Son. Think about it!