My wife worked in a westernized environment. Her company MD and most departmental heads are Caucasians. Due to this culture and its business nature, communication skills are of paramount importance.
Sometime ago, I was told by my wife that she has a subordinate who performs well in work but not recognised deservingly by the company MD and other departmental heads. Let’s called this colleague Ms A, who has good attitude, hardworking, meticulous and systematic. For all her good traits, Ms A lacks the confident and ability to convey in words her competence to the MD and other Caucasian colleagues. Her communication skill is not her strong point. This flaw is magnified when conversing with fellow colleagues who are Caucasians.
Responding to my wife, I mentioned that Ms A is only a good worker/subordinate for her. But in reality, she is not the ideal employee for the company. In today’s MNC environment, you not only require competence, but also need to be expressive and be a likeable person to senior staffs in the organisation. Apart from strong communication and networking skills, positive attitudes, survivability from set-backs and even appropriate dressing are all part of an all-rounder good employee package. Of course, lady-luck must not shun you.
After the conversation with my wife, I soon devise the Rolf’s One-Third Rule. Perhaps you have heard about the One-Third rule in photography and labour productivity. Herewith I introduced my version of One-Third Rule of thumb in “Life, Work and Investments” in general.
Rolf’s One-Third Rule in Life
1/3 Spend time with love ones
1/3 Income from work in areas of passion
Without good health, we can almost forget about doing many things in life. Love and take care of your health at all times.
Most mercenary workaholics will claim that the single most important thing for their love ones is by earning lots of money and provide them with a good material life. This is a fallacy. The amount of time you spend with your love ones certainly carries more value than the amount of money you spend on them.
If I say earning good income is not important, I must be the greatest liar! Yet, isn’t it even more perfect that your income is derived from doing something you are highly passionate about.
Rolf’s One-Third Rule in Work
It is without any doubts that competency is first criteria you need in work. Competency can be crafted via experiences, education, intelligence, diligence and hard work.
Emotional Quotient “EQ” is also known as “soft-skills”. It too can be crafted like competency, but it entails Character, Exposure and Experiences. This comprises of the need to understand people better, hence, applying the right interpersonal skills to achieve “likeability” traits especially among people of higher seniority than you. Developing good relationships and networking, both inside and outside workplace is also critical.
Very often, a promotion, pay rise etc can be accounted to random events of luck, right time at the right place. When they take place, people will be so over the moon and often behave arrogant and complacent. They are totally fooled by randomness.
Rolf’s One-Third Rule in Investments
Knowledge for me here, is more like the technical skills or tangible aspects of investment.
To acquire knowledge, you read, attend courses and laboriously research your investments. You learn about Fundamental/ Technical analysis and how to dissect an annual report. You read historical facts and understand how world and political events may affect your investments.
Wisdom is not exactly the technical skills. It is the essential skills accumulated from your investment journey. It is not just experiences accumulated from the “Market” but also useful experiences accumulated in your entire life. Wisdoms educates you “when to, and when Not to” invest. It helps to manage risk, control your desire and provides a sustainable long-term return of investment, over short term temporary gain.
Many investors, including many professionals, may be overly focused on their tangible skills and knowledge about the market, being yardsticks for investment success. Instead, the core values of investments are often associated to the core values in life. The ability to think better for yourself is extremely important. Jim Rogers is a strong advocate on the study of Philosophy, and he said as follows,
"You know yourself better, if you want to accomplish anything in life - you must learn to think at a deeper, more profound level if you want to understand the truth. - the study of philosophy helped to develop these skill. Help to trained think for myself, outside the establish framework. Examine things in depth; examine every concept and fact, thinking around corners, to see what is missing!”