Newer Dimensions: A Glance Into the Concept of Abundant Leadership

History is sometimes interpreted as the story of those who wielded tremendous power over the people and had a distinguished Aura or Halo around them. This Aura or we can say a marked Personality glued the Ordinary to the Person of the Wielder in a tacit chain of unquestionable Loyalty, Awe and Inspiration. However, what distinguished the Wielder of such a power was not his/her outer characteristics, but their inner mindset, thought process, courage, enterprising ability, perseverance in the face of adversity & so on. We often identify such a Person as a Leader.

A natural derivative of the above discussion implies that Leadership is all about mindset. Now, in the post-covid World, the over-arching importance of mindset cannot be gainsaid.

Abundant Leadership, in effect, embarks on the concept of abundance. Understand it this way: What if your leadership entails an unceasing flow of optimism and a corresponding presence of choices and opportunities everywhere? A confident and self-believing leader will definitely vouch for such a scenario, where they go on to share their success secrets, believe in joint progress and does not feel threatened by the fear of losing their competitive edge in the market by spreading their hard-earned wisdom. However, a more usual and expected scenario is a leader going on a defensive or assuming that they know all. Especially in capricious economic times, like after the devastating covid pandemic, the tendency shifts towards conserving the resources, feeling alarmed, at even minor problems or holding on to assets with all might.

This is where Abundant Leadership comes into play. By managing the emotions, rebooting the entrenched behaviours and thought patterns & working on the mindset, an entire scenario could be transformed, which earlier looked bleak and hopeless. An Abundant Leader focuses on his strengths and skills while at the same time taking along with other people on the tide of abundance with themselves, also concurrently tackling obstacles fearlessly with grit and courage. An Abundant Leader remains ready to walk the life-long path of self-awareness. By affecting the inner mastery of feelings, an Abundant Leader is able to manifest, what lesser leaders are unable to.

The lesser leaders here are usually those identified with a ‘scarcity mindset’. A leader carrying a scarcity mindset perceives the world in terms of what is lacking. They hold notions that the resources of the world are limited and the growth of one must necessarily mean a corresponding diminishing for another. They build walls around them and lead with fear, which they also pass on to their teams, stripping them of their confidence. They believe that nothing is sufficient, nor it ever will be. They hesitate from innovation and risks and shy away from anything which does not appear doable or realistic. This underlies ‘The Crucial Difference’ and Abundance Leaders succeed here hands down.

So, what are those crucial behaviours and mindset that sets Abundant Leaders apart from the rest? As mentioned, Abundant Leaders work from the perspective of growth and abundance. They are free from any insecurities which could make them timid and self-fulfilling. They believe in the growth of the community and the success of their tribe. They aspire to leave a legacy of abundance behind and tend to bequeath more value to the world than they have taken from it. Believe me, almost all the super successful entrepreneurs, businessmen & women, executives, managers etc. have this same mindset of abundance and they thereby through this attracts even more wealth and success in life while simultaneously also helping to fulfil others’ dreams. Let us now outline some distinguishing behaviours of abundant leaders which keep them in top gear even during times of crisis and uncertainties.

  • They give Credit to Others: Abundant Leaders tend to put the limelight on their co-contributors while they themselves love to enjoy the glory of the joint success. They care little for fame but rather vouch for the enrichment of ideas and knowledge.
  • They Solicit Inputs: Abundant Leaders sincerely believe in the wisdom and knowledge of others and do not shy away from asking for Inputs. They prefer to reach the best solution through active participation and share the exploits of success.
  • They accord Trust: Abundant Leaders know the importance of extending trust to others as they know that in order to the achieve best results, a trusting environment is an absolute must. This does not imply that they are gullible or do not recognise risks or failures, but it shows the priority they attach to a culture of trust, which starts with them.
  • They take time to coach others: Abundant Leaders like to pass on their knowledge and expertise by helping others in attaining their endeavours. Such an exercise of coaching others not only create a general abundance for all but is perceived as greatly rewarding for the Abundant Leaders themselves.
  • They Connect People in their Networks: By carrying a helping attitude, Abundant Leaders become a medium to connect those who come seeking help, to their network, thereby raising a community of like-minded individuals oriented towards growth and success.
  • They reach out to others to meet unspoken needs: Abundant Leaders remain deeply sensitive to others’ needs and when they find someone struggling, they do not hesitate to reach out to them with a helping hand or offer words of encouragement or advice.

Abundant Leadership is a thing of tomorrow. Especially in the current testing times, shaping a culture focused on abundance and minds oriented towards Growth and Success, while holding each other’s hands and participating in each other’s progress, Abundant Leaders will not only be able to survive but thrive.

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Offshore Internet Banking Advantages and Disadvantages

The topic of offshore internet banking is a hot one and one that is increasingly growing in popularity not only within the consumer banking community, but also the business or corporate banking sector.

The beauty of offshore online banking is that in addition to enabling you to conduct banking activities allowed by traditional and local brick and mortar businesses, it allows you more variety and flexibility in terms of your banking needs. For example, if you travel often, offshore online banking gives you the flexibility to conduct business on to go from anywhere, while ensuring that you have access to the type of currency if you need at a time you need it.

Having said that, not all banks offer online or internet banking services as this service costs the banks a significant amount of money. Programming sophisticated and secure systems require the effort of several full time computer engineers, full security and compliance departments, as well as heavy overhead to support the service on an ongoing basis.

Because there are so many variables involved in offering this service, offshore internet banking services vary from one financial institution to another. Some have better systems while others have work to do. A lot of this is predicated on the resources the bank has dedicated to this initiative, both in terms of quantity and quality.

Opening an Offshore Bank Account

Before diving further into this topic, I want to clarify that engaging in offshore internet banking is not about evading taxes. It is about mitigating risk of capital loss due to no fault of your own. So when considering a foreign jurisdiction in which to establish an offshore bank account, consider one that is politically stable and financially strong. In addition, it helps to select a jurisdiction that pays an attractive interest rate and has low to no income tax. Some of the most preferred jurisdictions over the years have been Switzerland, Cayman Islands, Singapore, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Opening a personal bank account is usually a very personal activity. With offshore internet banking however, there are ways you can get started remotely without having to show up to the bank’s local office, saving a ton of time, money and mainly frustration.

One such way is by visiting a local bank’s branch in your domicile state, or home country. Many big banks that offer internet banking have a multi-national presence. Chances are good that your selected bank has a local branch near where you live, despite being headquartered in another offshore jurisdiction.

In other cases, there are international banks that may not have local branches near where you live, but are willing and able to establish an offshore bank account for you through email, snail mail, fax and telephone. There are usually a set of documents required by banks in order to execute this process. Therefore you can still open a foreign bank account with an offshore bank without having to leave your country, but it may come with a little more effort, and sometimes the struggle involved in communicating with someone overseas.

The Advantages of Offshore Internet Banking

Here are some advantages of offshore internet banking that you should know about.

Protection from sovereign risk – as mention already above, parking funds in foreign bank accounts mitigates the risk of loss of capital resulting from freeze or confiscation of funds by Governments without any fault of your own. This risk is less of a concern in a developed economy with a solid banking infrastructure such as the United States, but it is nonetheless an inherent risk that exists.

Tax benefits – many offshore jurisdictions have low to no income tax implications on interest income, or income from business activities.

Higher Interest Rates – because many offshore banks operate with low costs, they can afford to offer higher interest rates compared to larger multi-national names. In fact, in developed economies like in Europe and North America, regulatory compliance requirements is seen by many as form of taxation on banks, thereby increasing overhead costs and lowering interest rates.

On Demand Access to Statements – offshore internet banking gives you instant access to your statements where you can view your activities on a real time basis. This includes past and pending deposits and withdrawals. You can therefore access your account balance at anytime.

Money Management – with offshore internet banking you can transfer funds between accounts across the globe instantly. Offshore banks have inventories of various currencies and can help you fulfill banking transactions in multiple countries. You can schedule automatic payments to vendors to release automatically.

There are several other advantages to offshore internet banking. You can open offshore trading accounts and establish offshore brokerage accounts to conduct trading and investment activity (there can be tax advantages to this). Conducting transactions online is not only mostly free, but also very efficient. Transaction time online is simply much less. You can also have streams of income potentially directly deposited straight into your offshore online bank account.

From a personal finance perspective, downloading banking activity from your offshore online bank account is easy and can be done instantly. Most online banking platforms are designed to feed information into financial or personal accounting software or to spreadsheets like Excel. Individuals can save a significant amount on accountant fees just by utilizing this feature. Not to mention more intimate knowledge and management of their own finances.

For those looking for anonymity, offshore online bank accounts also allow you to conduct banking anonymously as per bank secrecy guidelines.

The Disadvantages of Offshore Internet Banking

Merely establishing an offshore bank account can be a reason for the Government to put more focus on your activities. After all, many use offshore internet banking as a mechanism to conduct illegal activity and evade taxes. Some specific disadvantages of offshore internet banking as a result of conducting business through foreign bank accounts are the following:

Knowledge of Internet – There is a certain level of internet savvy required to be able to navigate your way through offshore internet banking platforms to ensure you are getting exactly what you want. This is a big reason why some elderly shy away from conducting banking online.

Deposit Timeline – Because many banks do not have the technology to be able to collect deposits remotely, you may have difficulty depositing all your proceeds. While many banks have developed electronic scanning technology, others have yet to catch up. There is no consistency to say the least.

Security / Fraud Implications – because banking is conducted online, offshore internet banking exposes you to the risk of network intrusion or breach. Because information is transferred electronically and stored in various databases, breaches can cause private and sensitive information to leak out into the wrong hands. But then again, this is no different than losing your check book if compared to traditional brick and mortar banking.

Spam Mail – offshore online banking also means that you will receive emails from the foreign bank you have your offshore bank accounts with. Internet predators recognize this as an opportunity for phishing, or fish for private and sensitive information. Many times you may see an email in your inbox from what seems like your foreign banking institution. However it is not. These are phishing emails hoping for you to login and enter your personal information such as login and password.

TIPS: Here are a few tips to avoid falling for phishing scams. First, when you receive an email from your bank, call them to verify that they sent the email. Second, instead of opening the email they sent you, visit the bank’s website directly and see if you can conduct what’s asked of you on their site by you logging in directly rather than clicking a login link in an email message.

Third, if you were to open the email and click on any link in it for whatever reason, once the link takes you to a website where you are required to enter personal information, look for security symbols such as an https URL address or a padlock on the lower right hand side corner of the web browser. There are other security measures as well that can be visible spotted. Read online for more on this topic.

Financial Security – some offshore bank locations are not very financially secure or stable. For example, during the global economic crisis of 2008, many savers lost money parked in offshore bank accounts in some destinations such as Iceland. I don’t mean to scare you by any means as this situation is rare, and in most cases those who suffer losses are compensated in some way over time. However, know that this inherent risk exists. Always look for deposit insurance. The bigger the allowance the better.

Credibility by Association – as I’ve already mentioned, offshore internet banking has negative connotations attached to it, often associated with money laundering, use of illegal monies, untaxed monies and support of illegal causes. Offshore bank accounts at times are tied to crime rings and terrorists. What does this mean for you? Although you may engage in offshore banking legally and legitimately, understand that there will be closer scrutiny over you by the Governments.

Access Restrictions – offshore banks are in destinations far away from you, therefore more difficult and expensive to access. In many countries, communication in person is preferred to communicating over phone, email and snail mail, therefore internet banking can get a bit difficult and frustrating. I see this trend slowly changing with banks understanding the need to communicate at all levels and mediums to satisfy a global audience.

Expensive – offshore internet banking is usually more expensive to set up and administer and thus more accessible and feasible for those more affluent or high income earners. It’s not so much that it is expensive to open a foreign bank account. It is not. However, many times you will need to go through a firm that specializes in helping expatriates establish and manage foreign bank accounts. All these activities cost money.

Internet banking today is very convenient and is accessible to almost everyone. For the average individual it can be a great offshore tax planning tool to add to the mix. For those that travel, foreign internet banking can provide all sorts of convenience, allowing one to transact anywhere and with anyone. So if you liked what you read about offshore online banking, I highly recommend you look into it further to see how it can help you meet your objectives.

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