What Is Your Greatest Investment?
November 21, 2017 by Alton Webb
“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” — Isaac Newton
This week I’ve invited Philip Devine, who produces the Go Outside Podcast to share how mentorship has played a role in his life:
Thanksgiving is right around the corner. You’ve probably got your travel arrangements made, grocery list written, and guest rooms ready for the extra company. In this season, it’s natural to take a deep breath and slow from a sprint to a jog. The rhythms of life seem to slow down to accommodate the cooler weather, shorter daylight hours, and the upcoming holidays.
As I take stock of the year that’s almost behind us, I realize that I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by many successful leaders.
And I don’t just mean successful in business, but in their personal and spiritual lives as well. As I learn the stories of these entrepreneurs, I don’t hear tales of “self-made” leaders typical of narratives today; I hear the stories of the men and women who have selflessly poured into them, who have made them the success stories they are today.
If you were to ask these leaders how they became successful, you wouldn’t get a list of strategies or tactics for growing a business. Instead, you would hear a list of names, mentors who took time out of their busy schedules to invest in them, whether in the marketplace or in ministry.
Initially, I wanted to share my own list of people who have sacrificially poured into me—those who have listened with ears of discernment, introduced me to someone, or initiated hard but necessary conversations with me. While I don’t have space here to do that, there is a common theme to how these leaders have achieved success…and how they’ve reached down and helped others, like me, to do the same.
Some people call it coaching, others call it mentorship. But the theme remains the same:
Invest in the individual.
Mentors value people over projects and profits. They understand that there is always work to be done but only a limited amount of time. And when pressed for time, they choose the individual. Our investors “choose” us by
- Taking the extra twenty minutes to hear about what’s going on at home
- Showing us grace when something goes wrong
- Providing resources and expertise that we don’t deserve and haven’t earned
Regardless of how they invest, what makes the ministry of these mentors so powerful is the way they model what Jesus did with his disciples:
- He made time for the little children
- He went out of his way for the woman at the well
- He reached out to a hated tax collector.
Jesus invested in individuals.
There are many things to be grateful for this season. And one thing I’m grateful for is how I get to see the example of Jesus in the people He has surrounded me with.
Leaders have invested in me. I will invest in others because Jesus has invested in all of us.
Who will you invest in?