Inheritance – what it really is and why it matters.
My wife and I attended Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership (link) conference at the end of March (’14). It was a one-day event that summarizes what their leadership mastery series in Nashville covers. Dave and his team of 400 people have built a financial empire that seeks to empower people to become both leaders & entrepreneurs, thus the name. Since leadership is at the heart of my work with empowering people, I jumped at the opportunity to attend this conference with my wife. Much of what he said was your typical leadership-speak but there was a very unique twist that Dave and his family have developed and it centers on the idea of creating a legacy. Not only that but the idea of starting a business that can be handed down to your family was a major discussing during the event.
One of Dave’s executive team members, Chris Hogan, started the morning with a brief discussion of one of the more widely used work personality tests, DISC personality assessment. It’s one of many programs out there to help large teams to function more cohesively and efficiently. It was interesting to note that my wife and I are extreme opposites, which speaks volumes to why my wife is superb at handling my weaker areas and vice versa. Although I use the MBTI daily, I hadn’t really had an opportunity to see my wife at work in her leadership roles (DISC is easier to implement and dialogue with individuals unfamiliar with personality testing). Instead I’ve been slowly exposed to them over the years which can make for some fun (and not so fun) “growing” experiencing as a team.
Next, Dave and his middle daughter, who co-wrote their book on this subject, started discussing the focus of becoming a family-oriented entrepreneurship. This was an idea that really began to pique my interest because the idea of passing great leadership skills to our children is and has been very close to my heart. My wife and I read to our daughter before she was born and our son will have had the same experience. We followed Dave’s Financial Peace University tenets and eliminated unneeded debt. It was fantastic and extremely valuable to our family’s future. We look forward to teaching our children how to avoid financial issues as well as instilling a voracious appetite for hard work and achievement…and the fulfillment that goes along with it.
So what is inheritance?
The bible was my primary written source of education outside of Dr. Seuss, mythology (don’t ask where I became fascinated with Greek, Roman and Norse mythology) and The Chronicles of Narnia during my younger years. There were numerous stories of parents leaving the fruit of their labor to be enjoyed (David), continued (Jacob), or sadly wasted (Esau) by future generations. Growing up the grandson of a full-time preacher and son of college students, I can tell you that I did not start my life financially wealthy.
However, I started with something much better. I had an amazing spiritual and educational legacy that helped me find an important identity as well as have a high self esteem that carried into helping others around me. It can be easy to have a narrow-minded perspective that inheritance speaks of monetary wealth being passed from parent to child. However, the very notion of leadership implies passing your traits (hopefully a lot of strengths and few weaknesses) onto and into those who follow you…familial or not. My career has focused on the broader sense of this idea.
My job for over 2 decades has been to acquire information, wisdom and insight regarding the strengthening of people. I have done that both professionally and voluntarily. As long as dysfunction and apathy plague our world, I will continue to champion ideas and strategies to help the world become a haven for constructive teamwork, unconditional love for our fellow man and an unquenchable desire to manifest the Kingdom of God through our talents and gifts.
Why is Inheritance important?
Dave commented during the conference that he believes the American economic crisis would solve itself if we equipped future generations with the financial concepts he espouses. Rather than borrow money incessantly, our children should focus on (legally) creating their own streams of financial resources through empowerment and education while maintaining a controlled amount of spending to achieve a particular goal. This is why parental support of the educational system is so vital to the future of our kids. Teachers need parents to be involved with supporting and reinforcing the learning strategies they present your kids in class. This means that parents need a strong awareness of how to support the child’s learning structure. 99% of parents want what’s best for their children.
If this is true for you as well, I exhort you to ascribe to some sort of plan to:
1) Assess the nature of your proposed inheritance
2) Implement this course of action over a period of years
3) Review and re-assess the results of your plan annually I have written about this “bookend” approach to achieving results in previous posts.
It’s never too late to change your life!
Let’s look at a biblical text from Ezekiel 18: “Now suppose this man fathers a son who sees all the sins that his father has done; he sees, and does not do likewise: he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor’s wife, does not oppress anyone, exacts no pledge, commits no robbery, but gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, withholds his hand from iniquity, takes no interest or profit, obeys my rules, and walks in my statutes; he shall not die for his father’s iniquity; he shall surely live. As for his father, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother, and did what is not good among his people, behold, he shall die for his iniquity. “Yet you say, ‘Why should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father? ’ When the son has done what is just and right, and has been careful to observe all my statutes, he shall surely live. The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. “But if a wicked person turns away from all his sins that he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is just and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions that he has committed shall be remembered against him; for the righteousness that he has done he shall live. Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live.
I LOVE THIS! We don’t have to wallow in our negative circumstances and expect scarcity for our future generations. Repentance is a complete turning away from things we used to engage in. I have watched thousands of people in my career turn away from things that were destructive. It’s one of the greatest privileges I get to experience when someone let’s go of a negative past and assumes their “place at the table” when they reach for higher goals and circumstances. Athletes. Addicts. Bankrupted. Broke. Broken-hearted. There are still 24 letters left to go…but I’m sure you can find yourself somewhere in this list. Everyone is invited to the feast of freedom in Christ. Don’t let despair cause you to give up on your dreams as well as the dreams of your children. Find a supportive community and helpful resources to pinpoint where you can make positive changes.
If we can help you discover those strategies, don’t hesitate to contact us here at LeadershipDude.com.