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Return That Call!

The quality of my life is dependent on the commitments I make.  Seems pretty simple right? And it all starts when we return that call and actually have that luncheon with our friend… like we said we would.

I used to market a mutual fund that had a billion dollars under management.  I communicated weekly with the portfolio manager to get updates.  Whenever I asked for an update I would get it. When I needed a conference call to happen he would be on the line. If I called him and he was overseas he would call me back as soon as he was able. I didn’t know at the time that he was one of the most senior people at the firm, which to this day is one of the largest money managers in the world.  In fact, if you watch Bloomberg news he is frequently on TV as an expert.

Its reasonable to think that if you are working together managing a billion dollars that a portfolio manager should return your phone calls. However, when we did experience a huge downturn in the fund (unrelated to his performance which eventually terminated the fund) even then his attitude never changed. He would always honor and stand by his word. He did what he said he would do. keep your word  Apart from being super smart and talented, by far his most admirable virtue was his integrity and reliability.

In looking back on my own life and assessing my many failings and foibles, by far my worst errors occurred when I failed to live up to what I said I would do. People rely upon your word and when you don’t keep it it creates chaos.

I do believe the reason the US seems in such a downward spiral is that we no longer honor our word. For example when selling health care to the country, President Obama made a commitment when he said ” if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” We now know what he knew then. The statement was a lie. Worst yet, nothing was done by the President to honor that commitment. The President then went on to restate the lie (and I paraphrase): “You can keep your doctor only if you were not in a substandard plan.”

The tragedy is that as a country there is no outrage, no shock as we all come to expect and accept the lies. This has become the culture we live in and tacitly accept. The media, the Democrats and the Progressives have each defended the President and his lie. This is a testament to their own corruption.

The unfortunate fact is that all of our major institutions have failed us. The Department of Defense should be called the Department of War; the IRS instead of collecting taxes harasses citizens they don’t like; the Department of Education has collectively made all of us more stupid, and the media only reports the stories that fit their world view. All of these institutions now do the opposite of what they were intended to do. But lest we forget, or abdicate responsibility,  these institutions are populated by us, our fellow citizens. These institutions are just a reflection of who we have become. We can no longer see the truth for what it is. Instead, we are all content to focus on the white lies that are everywhere and cast the first stone outward. But these same little lies are tearing us apart and ruining the fabric of this country

When I met my co-host Carole Gold at a meeting, one of the tenants of the meeting was that if you met someone at the event, you had to commit to meeting them afterward for either lunch or coffee. Because Carole and I both honored this agreement, we now have a podcast together and hopefully more fruitful business ventures on the horizon. This is the power of honoring the agreements we make. I have come to the point in my life where I only agree to do things when I am certain I can honor the commitment.

In the end that is what I believe will solve many of the problems that ail us. I can’t change the masses but I can change myself to make this world a better place. As the saying goes, when a butterfly flaps its wings in Austin…sooner or later… wind patterns change in Japan.

Collectively,  if we each agree and honor the things we said we will do, real change will come to this country and beyond.

Steve Clark


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