Leadership – The Long-Term Investment

Recently, my wife and three grown kids were in Chicago to attend the oldest child’s graduation from college.  As we were walking around the city, my wife reminded me how leadership development is a long-term investment with a lifelong payoff.  Seeing our kids interact with each other, we quietly smiled to ourselves, excited to see how nicely they treated each other and the other people around them on the street.

Don’t kid yourself, they’re normal human beings, like the rest of humanity.  While they were growing up, they fought with each other over all kinds of things.  Arguments happened among them just like they did among any other siblings.  And, yes, it took them a while to work out the wavelengths that they best operated on individually and as a trio.  But, eventually, they figured it out, and now it’s awesome to see.

Where did the leadership investment part come in?  Every day.  Looking back, it was hard to say “No” when we needed to, and it was hard to say “Yes” when we needed to.  By far, though, the hardest thing was knowing the difference!

We knew how we wanted them to turn out (or at least hoped they would…), so we treated it like a twenty-year investment program in each of their lives.  Meaning, we prayed with them, prayed for them, talked with them, showed them how to live, showed them how to forgive each other, and put the rest in God’s hands.

No, we were not perfect parents.  But, we found other parents who seemed to be doing a great job, and we adopted some of the methods, techniques, perspectives, and attitudes that they used and lived out every day.  Whenever I would lose patience with our kids, my wife would remind me of our overall purpose.  I’d calm down, ask them to forgive me, and start over.

Likewise, we always encouraged them (or reminded them) to be kind to each other, kind to strangers, and kind to themselves.  But at some point, we realized that showing them with our actions was more powerful than lecturing with our words.

A tongue lashing might have caused us to feel better because we vented our frustration of the moment, but what kind of example would that have set?  …Especially when they could then mimic that back to us, being justified by our own example, first displayed.  So, we did our best to teach respect by modeling how to act with each other, showing them with our actions.

Day-after-day, month-after-month, and year-after-year, the investment began showing true fruition of the law of compounding interest.  As Einstein said, “The Law of Compound Interest is the eighth wonder of the world.”  …Okay, he was referring to money, but I’m looking at that universal law from the perspective of an investment in other people’s lives that will multiply into millions upon millions of lives reached in positive ways over the next three or four generations…

I’m not saying all of this as a self pat on the back.  Far from it.  I’m saying this as someone that lovingly looks at three grown kids who have been investing their own love and kindness in others around the world.  And, this is to remind you that all of your own hard work in your own family really is worth it.

Like other long-term investors, we have been seeking a long-term return of healthy future generations, and we still are.  So, instead of a final analysis, this is more of a checkpoint in time.  Now, we’ll help our grown kids map out their own life investment plans for their next twenty years — and beyond.

Let us know if we can help you do the same.

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NOTE: If you like this article, share it!  Adapted from an upcoming book.  For books published, go to www.Amazon.com/author/reep.   Also, find more articles at www.RaisedByAVillage.com


Transferring a Winning Mindset

Somebody asked me recently, “How do you transfer a winning mindset from one person to another?”  Short answer: it’s a process.  I wish it were as simple as magically wiggling your fingers next to your head and then pointing them towards whomever you want to help…but, it’s not.

However, it can be done.  Meaning, yes, you can transfer the information, ideas, and perspective from yourself to someone else.  But, there are two sides of the equation: 1) what you give; 2) what they figure out.

To hold up you side of the bargain, you give them the tools, steps, and processes that are associated with the ideas or concepts you’re trying to pass on.  Depending on the topic or situation, you may have to model or show them by example what you’re trying to convey.

What they’re responsible for is to figure out A) whether or not they have the “want to”; B) how to internalize what you give them; C) how to use it as their own.  As they take in your information and figure out how to put it to use, they will grow in the capacity in which they were hoping to.

Teachers can talk and talk until they’re blue in the face, but students aren’t going to use any of the new information until they’re ready to make it their own.  As the old adage goes, “When the student is ready, a teacher will appear.”

Sometimes, people already have the tools or know the steps they need, in order to succeed or grow.  It’s just a matter of timing, so that the realization of having it kicks in.  You may only need to turn on the proverbial “light switch” of their understanding, or simply show them where the switch is.

“What?!  It was there all along?”  “Yep.”   …is a common conversation that people have aloud or in their heads.  So, no, you’re not alone in this thing of realization or learning.

When you give somebody else the tools, steps, and processes for how to do something, they don’t have to be complicated.  Over and over, people have told me, “Just give it to me in plain English.  That’s the best way I learn.”  So, I’ve tried to do that.  It doesn’t always come out that way, but that’s the goal.

Also, tools are just that: tools.  They aren’t meant to be the be-all, end-all.  They’re only a part of the greater recipe of success.  They’re the foundational pieces of equipment that can improve somebody’s chances of success.  The same thing goes for steps and processes.  Nobody wants dozens of steps or a complicated process.  They want it to be simple.  So, translate it in your mind and make it so.

Our minds have an amazing ability to capture information, learn new things, and quickly turn them into frameworks of “Ah ha!” moments.  After a while, those moments will become second nature to us, and we’ll expand that new framework in ways that connect with the other vast knowledge and experiences we already have.

Hopefully, you’ll get to see the beauty of that growth in others, as you transfer your winning mindset to them.

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NOTE: If you like reading Marty’s articles, please tell others about them.  He can be reached at martyjreep(at)yahoo.com.  This article was adapted from one of his upcoming books.  For ones currently published, go to www.Amazon.com/author/reep.  

Also, find more of Marty’s and his sister Janet’s work at www.RaisedByAVillage.com