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Missed Fortune – Learning to Live Above the Line

Posted on | October 28, 2013

The Two Dollar Rule

All of us encounter failure from time to time, but it’s what we do after we’ve failed that counts. Do we start looking for ways to justify our mistakes? Do we blame others? Or are we proactive and willing to take responsibility and learn from our errors?

How we answer these questions is a good measure of whether we’re progressing or not.

Whether you have a goal of abundance for your business or your family, there are a number of helpful concepts that enable us to maintain a true course. The two-dollar rule is one of those lessons.

Dr. Edwards Deming was the quality management expert who helped make Japanese industry a model of efficiency. He taught business owners and leaders a clever way to recognize when they were “operating below the line.” When a mistake is made, people often operate in the zones of blame, justification, or shame.

Dr. Deming taught that these reactions were a complete waste of time and effort. He recommended operating “above the line” by acting with accountability and responsibility. When we respond this way, we tend to progress.

Deming suggested that anytime anybody in the company chose to operate below the line, those around them could ask, without accusing, “is that $2?” If the person asked agreed that they were operating in the zone of blame, they had to contribute two dollars to one of several jars strategically located around the office. The proceeds were to be donated to a charity.

In one Fortune 500 Company that implemented the two-dollar rule, in just 90 days, they collected a quarter of a million dollars.

It was a great windfall for the charity they’d chosen, but it was also a huge benefit to every member of the company from the superiors to the subordinates. They all recognized just how often they’d allowed negativity and blame to permeate their everyday work. And with that recognition, they made the necessary changes to replace these negatives with positive qualities of responsibility and proactivity.

Company productivity soared.

Getting Ourselves ‘Above The Line’

The same two-dollar rule that worked for big companies can also do wonders when we implement it in our homes or businesses.

Even our children will benefit when they learn how to resist the urge to blame, justify, or shame, and instead start accepting responsibility and taking purposeful actions.

When it’s implemented in a fun, positive way, the two-dollar rule helps everyone in the family concentrate on operating above the line. And any mistakes can still be donated to an appropriate charity when someone forgets and goes below the line.

This trains all of us, whether family members or coworkers to support one another in changing the way they handle setbacks. It can cause a very positive ripple effect in your company or throughout your family.

The biggest takeaway from this lesson is that all progress begins by telling the truth. Each of us must be responsible and accountable for our own actions and for our own future.

A prime example of what below the line behavior looks like can be seen in the conduct of many of our political leaders who prefer to blame, justify, and shame in order to get their way. The recent government shut down showcased this mindset perfectly.

If this rings true to you, would you want to leave your future well being to the government? Would you want them to take care of you or take care of your retirement? After all, they’re $130 trillion dollars in debt thanks to government promises to take care of people who don’t want to take responsibility for their own retirement.

Many of these same folks wish for government to assume control of their health care for the same reasons.

If you wish to take ownership of your future, there are good, better, and best ways to make it happen. The best ways will help you sprint toward the finish line and the ultimate goal of financial independence. You’ll first need to learn the strategies that allow you to live and operate above the line en-route to your brighter future.

If you’re ready to learn the strategies that will make it a reality, visit with a wealth architect today.

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*Life insurance policies are not investments and, accordingly, should not be purchased as an investment

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