“People with high LQ value life and invest it wisely in what really matters in the larger scheme of things. They do not ask how they can get the most from life, but how they can give their uttermost to life. Their starting point is not how they can be happy, rich and famous, but how they can be most useful in a needy world. They know how to make the best of life in the worst of circumstances. They are able to find some measures of happiness, contentment, and inner peace, even when they have more than their share of troubles and tragedies. They know why they need to persist, even when all the external forces are arrayed against them. No matter how down they are in "luck", they can still look at things from the mountain top with great clarity and proper perspective.
In contrast, people with low LQ invest their precious time and energy in "junk bonds" - in cheap thrills, misguided ambitions, and selfish gains. They strive, scheme, and sweat to pursue the American dream of "from rags to riches", but in the end, they wake up from a nightmare of heartbreaks, loneliness and emptiness. Their love of money, pleasure and vanity makes them vulnerable to temptations; their arrogance and pride make them blind to their own limitations. They have neither the integrity to resist temptations, nor the character to endure adversities. They are short-sighted, interested only in short-term gains. Their happiness is determined by other people and by circumstances. They know how to make a good living, but don't know to live the good life. All the distractions and diversions in the world can not fulfill their inner void. They think that they are the smart opportunists, but in the end they are the fools who build castles on sand.”
(Extract from a set of articles by Dr. Paul Wong on the meaning of life. Read the articles here.)
So how does all this relate to business practice?
Well, it strikes me that if you designed your business to operate as if it is a person of high LQ, you would have a much better chance of authentically differentiating yourself and attracting enduring custom. Ask not how much you can make off your customers, but what you can give to them that adds real value to their lives! Do that right, and they will keep coming back to you.
Speaking of castles on sand, does the low LQ personality - selfish gain, growth for the sake growth, the love of money, arrogance, and the lack of integrity - sound strangely like business-as-usual?