I’ve been on more than my share of finance committees and served as Treasurer for numerous churches and non-profits. And I’ve come to realize that those who do not enjoy this type of work can be as passionate about avoiding financial chores and discussions as those that are gifted administratively are about ensuring proper planning, monitoring and reporting of the financial activity of an organization.
Likewise at home, many otherwise fervent leaders often find that anything and everything seems to take priority over doing those things that are necessary to provide financial leadership for their families…things such as Budgeting, Saving/Investing, Giving, and protecting the family’s wellbeing with a Will and Life Insurance.
If there are children in the home, these things become exponentially more important. The children must be protected financially in the event of the loss of one or both parents, the loss of job(s), a natural disaster or medical issue as well as educational needs. Preparing for these possibilities may involve sacrifice, both in terms of the time that it takes to plan, research, execute, and steward these activities as well as the money itself that could be spent on other things with more immediate and probable gratification.
Of parallel importance is the responsibility to lead by educating and setting an example of financial leadership for the next generation. Fiscal responsibility, financial goal setting, and generosity are learned traits that are most effectively developed through mentoring and example. While using a portion of what we have to help meet the genuine needs of others is no guarantee that our children will grow up to be sensitive to others’ needs as well, I think we can agree that those who have had a generous lifestyle consistently modeled for them as they grow up are much more likely to see these things as a responsibility, if not a privilege, that they have as well.
In some other cases, the example that we set may be that of prioritizing how to spend insufficient financial resources. Open and honest family discussions can be an important tool to teach the importance of each budgeted item and to demonstrate how integrity can be maintained even in the face of adversity.
Would you rather have a root canal than set up and manage a budget or shop for life insurance? I probably feel the same way about some of the things that you do to lead in your life. But leadership, although often inherently rewarding, is not about doing just what we think is fun, it’s about doing what is needed…what must be done. In future posts, I will discuss some of these individual financial responsibilities further.
Photo credit: National Assembly For Wales / Cynulliad Cymru / Foter.com / CC BY
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Photo credit: The Library of Congress / Foter.com
Photo credit: LendingMemo / Foter.com / CC BY
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