Over the course of the last few weeks, I have been catching glimpses of a theme: the importance of investing in others. In a recent Catalyst podcast, Proverbs 31 President Lysa TerKeurst shared how accountability “has to be in a setting of relationship collateral.” The amount of “collateral” is often directly proportionate to the strength of the relationship, with Trust is at the very center. This theme made another appearance as I tuned into an EntreLeadership podcast with Bob Buford on my morning commute. Mr. Buford shared that mentorship is a “two-way street. . . and if it isn’t a two way street, it won’t last.” His relationship with management guru Peter Drucker was marked by investments made by both the mentor and the mentee.
Every morning that we wake up to live another day on Earth, it can be guaranteed that our actions throughout the day will not occur in a vacuum. The decisions that we make are commonly influenced by others and we are also poised to influence others. Our daily to-dos, short-term goals, and even lifetime dreams are rarely achieved by our own strength. In the pursuit of each of these, we recruit those who are able to come alongside us and contribute their time, energy, and resources. This is how relationships work! However, if we are not careful, we can go about our own agenda, calling on the assistance of others, and miss out on opportunities to ensure that we are making relationship collateral investments while operating on two-way streets.
A practical tool to develop the habit of investing in the lives of those around us is to Build 5. Make a quick list in the margin of each day’s list of to-dos of five different people you can invest in:
- Partner – someone directly involved in each and every day of your life (spouse, boyfriend/ girlfriend, roommate, etc.).
- Family – someone who perches in your same family tree.
- Friend – someone with whom you are on a first name basis: whether your relationship blossomed in the workplace, your place of worship, or they are simply a familiar face who makes your latte at the coffee shop each morning.
- Stranger – someone who is unknown to you on all levels, but crosses your path as they live out their life in the same world as you.
- Mentor – someone who invests in your life on a regular basis or someone whom you respect for a character trait or ability that you would like to possess and/ or refine.
Occasionally, these investments will require courage or sacrifice. In most instances, building up others can be accomplished when we simply break from our own agenda to make room for someone else. Not sure where to start? Here are some ideas to get your wheels turning:
speak life • give gifts •make a shout-out on social media • intentionally note something they do consistently • compliment genuinely • extend thanks • show admiration • serve subtly • support their mission • encourage their passion • carve out dedicated time to be with them • remind them of who they are created to be • praise their character
Kick off your own mission to Build 5 and share your story in the comments below!