Self-esteem: A Shareholder’s Right

The Shareholder Activist - Self-esteem: A Shareholders RightMany people correlate their self-worth and value as a person with their portfolio size and/or net worth. In our money driven culture one can almost not help it. However, at the center of self-esteem is an inherent evaluative/appraisal process. The interactions between self-esteem and money can be profound. Literally one can “feel like a million bucks” at certain life junctures.

Self-esteem refers to a person’s overall sense of self-worth and value. Self-esteem is generally enduring, and often considered a personality trait. It consists of beliefs about oneself, one’s appearance, values, behavior, and emotions. In essence, self-esteem is the cluster of the human fiber and substance of what makes us who we feel we are, and how we perceive and think of ourselves. If we see ourselves as prosperous and successful, and we earn a substantial living with the prospect of huge bonuses, then making significant money can be integral for our self-esteem. This of course is fine if it is balanced and integrated within our personality structure and value/belief systems.

Emotional traps lurk when we make money the most important and singular source of our self-esteem, and we neglect our feelings, principles, integrity, beliefs and dignity. At those junctures many surrender to their impulses and obsessions, and get into psychological trouble. Again, balance in all matters of human experience! The Greeks really had something there. They lived well, but they were willing to sacrifice greatly for their ideals, and their freedom.

The self-esteem of the shareholder resonates with the stability and sustainability of their holdings. Feelings of security, stability, and confidence coincide with self-esteem. Shareholders are leery of, and of course resent, betrayal. They are also, naturally, wary of how their corporations spend “their” money. Being abused and taken damages self-esteem and provokes righteous anger. Boards need to really think about keeping their shareholders warm, happy, and safe.

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