By: Anthony C. Gruppo & Michelle Sartain
Throughout our careers we have made investments in the lives of many colleagues. Whether our role is professional or personal we all make investments in those around us that we strive to support and serve. We make an investment to improve lives and for them to have greater overall success. As a parent, we try to teach our children valuable lessons that they can carry with them into adulthood. The same is true for our colleagues. As leaders, our goal is to help others do their job more effectively and build the skills necessary to thrive. It is our responsibility to help those we serve become the best versions of their selves by helping them to find and develop the tools they need to become successful.
However, we have each watched young colleagues become successful professionals and turn away from their obligation to become role models themselves. The cycle is broken when we invest in others and they do not invest in those that come after them. Many times the return on investment is well below our expectations. We often feel disappointment when the people we invest in come up short on their responsibility.
We have learned over time that it is best to expect little in return for your investment in other people. When you open your eyes and forget about the bottom line, you see that the true return on investment is the net gain of the improvement in yourself. The most powerful force in the world is the inner energy you possess. The investment we make needs to be in our own work ethic and values. Create a sense of excitement for yourself to do the best you can for those around you. We believe that the true return on investment comes when we challenge others to invest the hard work in developing themselves and they find equal excitement and fulfillment in doing so. Leadership comes with a price and a premium. The price is to invest our time and attention to those we serve. The premium is to remember those that invested their time and attention in us, so that we could triumph over our challenges.
In corporations, return on investment usually means a financial profit. If you truly dedicate yourself to give more than you get, the return is a profit that grows larger with your commitment to others. Become an investor in your goals and an owner of your dreams. Your return on investment is the example you set for everyone following your lead.