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Going Deeper with The 15 Commitments: What Is My Relationship To Money?

Jim Dethmer
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June 21, 2017

Several of my coaching sessions over the past two weeks have centered on a leader’s relationship to money. In one case he was asking, “Do I have enough to leave my current job and do what I really want to do?” In another case her question was, “What is the monetary value of coaching?” And, in the final case, the issue was, “How much should my spouse get in our divorce?”

I saw, again, that unless a leader gets clear about their relationship with money, conscious leadership will live often as an idea and not an experiential reality. As we become more conscious as leaders, we begin to actually experience that we have enough. Sufficiency becomes the reality in which leaders and teams live.

When we live from scarcity, the desire and need to chase more becomes all consuming. A primary reason leaders give for not living in their zone of genius and pursuing their passion is that they fear not having enough money. Teams fight over scarce resources and have a hard time really creating win for all solutions because they believe that money is a zero sum game. Money, getting it and keeping it, becomes the real core value of the organization regardless of what they say are their values. Believing that I and we don’t have enough money is the cause of much of the drama in our lives.

To support leaders in getting clear about their relationship to money I like to have them consider a set of questions and see what they discover. I suggest that you take some time and actually write out your answers to these questions. If you’re like most people you’ll be quite surprised at what you learn. The questions include:

These questions invite a leader to become self-aware about how they are living with money. Self-awareness is the first step to consciousness.

One of my favorite passages from the New Testament comes from Paul’s first letter to his young son in the faith, Timothy. Here is the advice Paul gives a young leader growing in consciousness:

“For the love of money is the root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many a pang.”  (1 Timothy 4:10)

My paraphrase of Paul’s words for the three leaders I coached this week, and for myself and you would be this:

“When we don’t understand what money is and we give it a place in our lives it was never meant to have (a primary source of security, control and approval) we make choices that cause all kinds of drama in our lives. When we believe the belief that we don’t have enough money we lose our stability and go out of presence, and our reactive fear-based ego starts driving our lives. The result is that we keep longing for something that will never ultimately satisfy us.”

About the Author
Jim Dethmer

Jim has been coaching leaders and supporting individuals, groups, and organizations to optimize their effectiveness. Potent and practical, he see issues clearly and communicates next steps crisply. Jim works with Fortune 200 CEOs across all industries, and co-authored the book—High Performing Investment Teams—to support his work with leading asset management organizations around the world.