The Servant Investor

This post is by Jeff Carter from Points and Figures

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We talk about servant leaders all the time.  The founder of the company ought to be able to put employees ahead of themselves.  They ought to lead by example and pitch in to do all the menial tasks that underlings do.  They need to lead with emotional intelligence.

We don’t talk about servant investors very much.

Great investors are servant investors.  Yes, you sit on the board.  You have some power over the management team.  But, the reality is a good investor knows that they work for the company, not the other way around.

There is no playbook to be a servant investor.

I think it is investing with emotional intelligence.  It’s doesn’t mean you don’t dot the i’s and cross the t’s.  It’s more about clear crisp communication.  It’s more about anticipation.  It’s more about talking to the management team about their problems and then instead of judging, working problem with them.  It’s being humble and admitting when you messed up or made a bad decision.  It’s speaking for the company ahead of what investors or the management might want.

A lot of investors pound their chests. Investing can be very ego driven.  It’s so satisfying when you make an investment and it turns out well.  You were right!  The fact is, you might have been right but it was the company employees who executed so it turned out well for you.

I try to be a servant investor.  Sometimes I am very good at it.  Sometimes I fail.