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    Did you get some of the 2000 feeling?

    We are now 2 weeks into 2010 and you get the feeling that there is a lot of optimism that surrounds the opportunities for the year ahead.  I came to New Zealand in 1996 and during my first years here there was a mini boom, the market and the economy generally was making a lot of progress but in late 1998 through 1999 the market slowed considerably.  Then the new millennium came around and like this year, there was a reason to believe that the year 2000 was significant and it would give a little more drive on and confidence than say any other year. Does 2010 provide the same?

    The Year of the Tiger 38, 50, 62, 74, 86, 98

    The last decade has been a period of extreme confidence.  All the markets continued to rise and rise for the majority of the decade.  We were told to believe in ourselves, we learnt that investing was a necessary behaviour to grow wealth, we made business decisions based on the high point of our revenue, and the environment was one where more wealth was created than any previous decade.  Some of the numbers during the last 10 years were staggering – there were more new cars sold, there were more property transactions, there were more people in employment, the average earning capacity of an individual rose to record levels and more wealth was created in the last 10 years than in the previous 50 years.  So when you reach such highs, why did the sudden drop come so unexpectedly? 

    I have used the analogy in the past about who was in power for the first 8 years of the new millennium.  The three people were in the seller (of property), the employee and the landlord (property owner).  Very quickly that swung around because when the market position shifts it moved in favour of and bought the buyer, the employer and the tenant into power.  So who in the last 2 years have been the winners? 

    We set sail in 2010 full of confidence.  One of the key lessons I have learned during the last 10 years is that leadership was more important in the last 18 months than it was in the previous 102 months.  The true leaders identified themselves and they ran their business according to the plan that they set.  The biggest opportunity that will arise during the next 10 years will come through the discipline of execution, the discovery of growth and the delivery of leadership.
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