Leadership is: Investment

“Really great people make you feel that you, too, can become great.” – Mark Twain

If we ever expect our teams and organizations to be great we must invest in our people! I’ve heard it said that Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, knew that if he wanted to make his customers happy, he would have to make his employees happy first.

While we are all wired differently, we desire to feel connected to people, from the obvious extrovert, down to the the most introverted hermit (myself included). Investing in people is the process of helping them feel connected! John Maxwell says, “leadership is influence,” that influence is gained through investing.

There are all different types of influence, not one type is better than the other. In order to figure out what type of investment you need to give, you must first know the people you want to invest in. What do they like? What is their personality like? What are they interested in? How do they feel appreciated? Them + their circumstances = a unique situation.

Here are a few types of investment:

Financial Investment: A financial investment says that I’m willing to give up my hard earned money to support your cause or need.

Emotional Investment: A great way to build rapport with a person quickly is to have empathy. This can not be synthesized, this must be real! People know when you truly care for them and are willing to identify with their situation. All you might need to do is listen and nod your head as they express themselves to you, but your listening speaks volumes.

Physical Investment: This is probably my least favorite of all the investments. However, there is something very powerful about a person who is willing to take time out of their schedule and give physical effort to help you accomplish a task. This could be moving, painting, building, etc.

Professional Investment: When you’re willing to help people get better through training or mentoring and they experience success because of it they will remember your investment and be more bought into who you are. This is essentially them giving you influence.

What other kind of investments would you add to the list?

What kind of investments do you prefer?

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