Don’t tell me what you believe…show me where you invest.

In a world of punditry, knowing where people invest will show what they believe.

Geoff Wilson

Where is the most compelling evidence of what you really believe (as opposed to what you say you do)?

It’s in what you own.

More specifically, it’s in where you invest.

Even back to biblical times, it was understood that “where your treasure is, your heart will be also.”  That’s Matthew 6:21 (NIV).  Where you put your resources reflects what you believe.  This is not a new or original concept, but it’s a very important one.

In this age, I’d suggest a couple of alterations to the concept.  First, treasure today is as much about time as it is money or assets.  Second, because we have so many ways of telling people what we believe (the POTUS likes Twitter), and because we can often conceal where we invest time and money, knowing where others actually place their values can be a challenge.

And that’s the point of this post: Where you invest shows more about what you believe than what you say does.  The inconsistency is apparent in “easy” cases like the CEO who says innovation is important but who cuts the R&D budget incessantly; I call this easy because everybody can see it.  Where things really get interesting is when you see normally concealed things like the leaders of tech companies not letting their kids use the tech they have helped to develop (cases of this have come out with respect to Apple, Facebook, and others).

That shows what they really believe.

So the next time you are confronted with a leader who says they believe in something, do a little bit of poking around to see where the budget is allocated and where time is allocated.  You will often find that what they say doesn’t match what they invest in–like they say they believe in putting the customer first but haven’t talked to a customer in a year.

Talk is cheap.

Oh, and like anything else, this can apply to you. Maybe get your own house in order as well.

Don’t tell me what you believe, show me where you invest.  That will tell me what you believe.

What do you think? 

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