Leaders Invest in People
November 15, 2010
Operations and IT Consultant
TopicsCommunity, contribute, create, Culture, invest, mentoring, relationships, return on relationships, triad relationships
Great leaders invest in people. Investing in others creates margin and return. We know the intrinsic benefit of helping someone who can't help us back. Some call it serendipity, some call it luck and others call it divine intervention, but there is an equilibrium that occurs. Investors create an asset, an account receivable, by putting value into others. We all know this internally. That's why we give to charities and to non-profits. That's why we support causes. We know it works that way.
Give More Than You Take
But most of us have areas where we tend to take more than we give. Left to ourselves, we become paranoid and self-focused. If there is no one else around to focus on, our nature tends to become more selfish. There are exceptions, I know. But in my experience with people I've seen this over and over again. Others expand our vision and our horizon. Other people force us to think about something other than ourselves.
Investing Builds Community
The act of investing in others builds community. Community or common unity is a place where everyone is connected to each other by something more than geography. When we understand the affect of our actions and when we have the attitude of creating our life rather than reacting to it, we become mutual investors. A community of peers investing in one another is a joy. You can't wait to be around those friends because they always invest in you. But if you always go looking for them to invest in you, eventually they won't be there. You must engage for the purpose of investing. They will then be looking for you! You make yourself and your community more valuable by giving yourself away, not by hoarding, reacting and consuming.
Community of Investors = Culture
As a result, great leaders create a culture of leadership by their investment. They model the behavior that builds relationships, and relationships fuel achievement. Investors follow one another too. People are challenged to invest by the investment of others. Have you ever noticed how winning leaders attract winning leaders? Great people are revealed by the investment of others. Most of us need a hand up. We need some help. We need people to take some risk and invest in us. Great people, and not-so-great people, are revealed by the investment. You never know how truly great someone might be, until you invest.
Great people are revealed by the investment of others.
You may know an exception, but how many truly self-made leaders are there these days? Many people have challenged their environment, against tremendous odds, with little help or resources. But few would tell you they didn't need or want the help. We all know the value of others investing in us. We all know and want the investment. Become the investor and apply that principle to discover the truly great around you.
Where (or in whom) do you need to increase your investment? Where are you becoming selfish and weak? Where are you reacting more and inventing less? Your investment may be as simple as a thank you, or as complex as a change in your lifestyle. Don't let another day pass without examining your portfolio and adjusting your investments to create results. Your community, your sphere of influence is counting on you!
[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mike Henry Sr., Mark Hundley and Rhiah Clachir, Mary Jo Asmus. Mary Jo Asmus said: RT @mikehenrysr: Great people (and the not-so-great) are revealed when we invest. Who are you investing in? http://lnkd.in/zuK5h8 […]
Thank you for your thoughts, Mike! I believe in the notion of “paying it forward” and your post captures the heart of that approach: What a great way to begin a new week!
Though there are common interests in any community, each member does have unique gifts. Authentic leaders pour out their unique talents in service of the rest, setting an example for others to emulate.
Though I actively invest in my customers and my industry peers, I do see a need to increase my investment with my co-workers who serve in different business functions. Thank you for your encouragement to “rebalance my portfolio!”
Glad to help. I think the nature of investing is that we can always do more. For me the challenge is to keep from reading posts like this and thinking about the other people I know who need to be investing more. It’s always best for me to keep this very personal and not judge others.
Thanks for the comment!
What a heartfelt post, Mike. It hit me right in the chest. I have been working on this for a number of months now. I try to find ways to do some random act of kindness to a total stranger at least once per day, even if it’s just telling someone their hair looks nice or that they have a great smile.
Thanks for sharing this and bringing accountability to the “investment” element of leadership.
I agree the random acts and even the targeted one-of-a-kind acts are necessary and they help keep us grounded. But also, like your LeadSwag group, when you connect with someone, it is more fun to invest in them than it is to calculate what you’re getting from the relationship. It’s always better to focus on the “investment” side of the equation rather than on the “return” side.
Thanks for the the comment and your participation in the group too!