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08.12.2009 Feature Article

Reforms to Africa’s Corporate Organizations (Part 2) Mr. Buffett’s business ethical paradigms

Reforms to Africa’s Corporate Organizations (Part 2) Mr. Buffett’s business ethical paradigms

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently.” No matter your past failures, you can still make amends and start anew –never agonize over your mistakes. ~Warren Buffett~

As a prelude into part 2, I want you to spend some few minutes to reflect on the above concluding remarks I used for my last. I must contend that, the responses gotten so far from readers on part 1 were indeed remarkable. Folks, your good commentaries are greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for the effort-boost. At this point I wish to explore further Mr. Buffett's ethical business paradigms. It is imperative to follow through the discussion without getting easily swayed by the length of the article.

(a) Always be well-positioned for opportunities. This can be done through learning and reading of books and articles in your area of competence. Mr. Buffett notes that having enormous information has enhanced his investment acumen. To be a good investor, you need to read all the books on investments and keep yourself abreast with current trends. This information is not only applicable to investment but life in general. While I falter in this regard, I will not relent to emphasizing this fact: to be great in life demands sacrifice to reading of books and acquainting oneself with current information. I know this is very difficult for most people in Ghana and Africa because our cultural setting as Ghanaians and for that matter Africans in general do not train people to read and search for information. All my days, in the University of Ghana, I heavily relied on my professors' notes to pass my exams. My ability to memorizing my professors' notes surely got me “A”s. However, I got my actual education from thinking outside the box. I went to numerous seminars and got advice from mentors. My friends outside Ghana will concur that, it takes so much struggle to read voluminous information before getting assignments done. For example, people like Dr. Mensa Otabil, PhD (ICGC), Mr. Ken Ofori Atta (Databank), Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, PhD (Christ Embassy) and Professor Baffour Takyi, PhD (University of Akron) and many others always emphasize the need for reading around your field of competence- a requisite to their success. Let us make reading not just a school curriculum but a family obligation to our children.

(b) Do not be deterred by other people's success. Rather, stay within your circle of competence. “Microsoft founder Bill Gates once told Warren: ''You have to invest in computers. They will change the way you do everything.'' Warren replied: ''Will they change the way you chew gum? Will they change whether you chew Spearmint or Juicy Fruit? Will they change whether you drink Coke or Pepsi? If not, then I will stick with my investments and you stick with yours.'' The greatest pleasure in life is identifying who you are and walking in such purpose and hope. The world is now more challenging and competitive which makes people distracted. But even if people do not acknowledge your potentials, life is too short to waste it over things that do not contribute to your God given-purpose. When someone is walking away from your life for no apparent reason, let them go especially those people and friends who place less value on your potential. Added to this, Mr. Buffett also notes: Feel good about what you want in life –a purpose driven passion is result-oriented. If it is social work, or working for others to achieve a corporate agenda, feel good about it. When you stay within your circle of competence, you will not struggle overcoming envy, jealousy, and many other bad attitudes. Folks, let us all stay within our circles of competence and stop looking down on others.

(c) It is a terrible mistake to think that getting all the dollars will bring eternal happiness. If you doubt this viewpoint, ask those who get it through foul means (Sakawa). It amazes me, how these people come by the money. What I have learnt is that such people do not still know true happiness. It is our purpose that brings true joy and happiness which is the more reason why we must never lose sight of our purpose. Remember, when you think money will solve all your problems that “It is a terrible mistake to think that getting all the dollars will bring eternal happiness.

As always, I am closing the chapter of this article with a simple quote from Mr. Buffett “I get to work in a job that I love and I think you are out of your mind for taking jobs you do not love. Take a job that if you were independently wealthy you would do, loving what to do is much more important than money making”

Folks, a journey of thousand miles begin with a step: take a step now and divine providence will rearrange the rest. Stay blessed and keep hopes alive. It is well. Lookout for Part 3.

God Bless Ghana; God Bless Africa and the world.
Chris Opoku –Agyeman ([email protected])

University of Akron.
Development / Accra / Ghana / Africa /

Chris Opoku-Agyeman
Chris Opoku-Agyeman, © 2009

The author has 6 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: ChrisOpokuAgyeman

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