The Desk

August 25, 2009


It was 40 years ago this morning that I began investing and the significance of making good choices became acutely underscored in regard to education, training, good listening skills, and communication. The awareness of where to network, as well as how, became another important factor at that time.

Being a member of a minority group meant, as my Second Grade teacher advised her students, being twice as good as our white counterparts so that we could be considered half as good. That meant being prepared for the rejections that would occur throughout our lives that were based on the mere color of our skin and texture of our hair no matter what the venue. But that lesson had to be taught in an indirect manner so that it felt as though it was intuited knowledge. Thus, acceptance and the true meaning of diversity, recognizing all of the races and cultures and ethnicities and blendings that caused our existence could be embraced and celebrated. That also spelled understanding discrimination without needing to endorse it nor waging a war about it. Sometimes the best way to defeat the hate is to simply wall it up in a container and then stow it.

These are all fine things to consider. It’s admirable to aim for accomplishing them as far as developing a person with a meaningful existence who will increase the value of their workplace. They will improve the community for the fact that they passed through that space and did positive things as they impacted it. They strove to do the best possible in the workplace and everywhere else. These are the factors in our investments. But its the return on investment, the ROI, that gives us the bottom line on whether the training and development was properly handled.

Do they fight resistance with all of the tools at their disposal, being selective about which to use at the proper time and in the right measure? Or do they become complacent and accept the dregs that smack of insult instead of the measure to which they have worked to earn and merit?

What type of ethics do they ultimately practice, whether in spite of or because of our training? The question also needs to be raised as to whether our input and training would have made a difference. We question whether we should have been more adamant about certain matters as our capital was being developed. There are some who would tamper with our product and interject negative influences that should not have been part of the training. Still others will attempt to approximate what they see us using but they have no sense of how to replicate the lessons. Therefore, their theft mangles the training and undermines the development regimen so that remediation is not just necessary, it is mandatory.

The issue of knowing when to let go in order to test both our own selves as to our abilities at development as well as the product to see how well it performs becomes critical as time passes. It’s important to do periodic quizes. Taking the small steps to curb disaster are easier in those small increments rather than wait until one payload is ready to be delivered and fails.

After going through all of the development and training of our investment in our future, we want to see our dividend and returns at least doubled. If they aren’t, there’s disappointment in the effort. What still needs to be considered in this regard is whether we’re using the proper measuring stick. It could be that we’re using the one for the architect when the activist logorithm is the correct rule. No matter. It’s important to have a sense of how much return we’re getting on that investment.

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