Sunday, July 5, 2015

The One Key Characteristic That All Millionaires Have

Can it be that millionaires all have one thing in common? Some think so

I adore the idea that rich people all have something in common.
You'd imagine that it might be a deep well of self-confidence. You'd think it might be aggression, or even, here's a concept, inheritance.
But there I was sitting in my jacuzzi only the other day when I read a headline that said millionaires all have one vital ingredient: decisiveness.
I'm not so sure about that.
Wait, I'm giving myself away.
I'm the rarity who when he sees a headline still bothers to read the prose beneath. It was then that I realized that millionaires did indeed seem to have decisiveness. In 1937.
You see, this declaration was based on a no-doubt fine book called "Think And Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill, published before World War II.
He'd studied famously wealthy people such as Andrew Carnegie and decided (how quickly?) that they took decisions quickly and when they doubted those decisions they only changed them slowly.
The reverse was true of those who weren't millionaires. They took decisions slowly and when things didn't seem to be working out, they made a quick volte-face and vaulted to another decision -- this one equally bad, presumably.
In 1937, though, the Golden Gate Bridge hadn't been opened yet. So many exciting wars hadn't been fought yet. And the Internet hadn't yet been invented by HG Wells.
Can it be that today's millionaires have, as their one common characteristic, decisiveness?
Can it be that Donald Trump's swift decision that "somebody is doing the raping" suggests not only wisdom, but clearly the wisdom of a millionaire?
Can it be that only a millionaire president would be decisive enough to, say, invade Iraq rather than think about it a little and perhaps decide it's better not to.
(I mention this only because two members of the same family, both millionaires, took opposite decisions.)
Decisiveness is a good look. It automatically suggests a certain sharpness of mind and a confidence in action.
Could it be, though, that those who are swift to decide already have quite a fine picture of the situation at hand? Could it be that those who are slow to decide have minds that are muddied by too many variables? (In modern business, these people are called data scientists.)
The aspect of Hill's observation that is most interesting is surely not the swift making of the decision, but the sticking to it.
A swift decision based on a vision needs a certain determination to see if that vision really has a chance. To freak at the first sign of angst reveals a sheer weakness of the mind.
But those who can't decide -- and, once they do, get jittery -- are surely not the sort of people who ought to be running the insane asylums that are most businesses.
In the end, though, decisiveness is a deceptive thing. Halfwits can be decisive. Does this make them millionaires? Only sometimes.
Surely a greater role than decisiveness is played by good judgment. Oh, and by luck.


Post a Comment