Buying High and selling low… not a good way to lead.

25 08 2015

“Happiness?  A good cigar, a good meal, a good cigar and a good woman – or a bad woman; it depends on how much happiness you can handle.” ~George Burns

George was always a bit of a cad, but I’ll take the quotes as they’re dealt, as long as they make me laugh!  The last few days of stock market activity make people wonder how much happiness they can handle.  Those of us with retirement accounts were really happy when the Dow was at 18,000, and may have looked at the size of our retirement accounts with some degree of comfort.  Then our retirement accounts (in my case, probably at least 15 years away from being used) take a punch in the gut, and we’re tempted to sell, despite every expert advising the “wise investor” to hold on for the long run.  Those who dumped their equities yesterday morning, when the Dow was (briefly) down 1,000 are now kicking themselves (I suspect).

Leaders must acknowledge that they only really lose when they get out of an investment by selling low.  We invest time, energy and (sometimes) a platonic love into the development of those leaders reporting to us.  They inevitably have a bad day, or a run of bad performance, making us wonder if they are worth the energy we poured into them.  You can foolishly “sell low” and “buy high” by getting rid of them, and bringing on a new person that you need to start over with.  That’s your right, but before you pull the trigger, think about how much energy you put into developing them, and then think about starting over.  Maybe holding on through troubling times is a wise investment strategy when it comes to your team, too.  Look towards your retirement, and what kind of leadership legacy you want to leave behind.  It’s your call, leadership investor.

Speaking of cigars…


Rubes cartoons used with permission.




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