Saturday, September 8, 2007

People, the best investment [Part 1]

"The basis for investing"
To most of you, the video below will mean nothing. In fact, you will probably lose interest in the first 30 seconds; ... but for those who I work with everyday, it's a source of pride and accomplishment. It represents their stand!
Each year at our office -- a stress-driven marketing unit -- we make a video celebrating the year's triumphs and troubles. The video is compiled and shown at our annual Sell-a-Thon, which is the biggest sales week of the year for myself, my team of managers, and our nearly 35 sales reps.
The annual viewing of this video has become a high point of the selling season.

For me, however, these yearly commemorative videos serve a larger purpose. They motivate me to continue working with, developing and promoting those good people who God allows me to influence. They remind me of why I lead and manage my team.
I was taught in school that "a leader is someone who instills within the heart of the follower, a desire to follow."
I believe this to be true; and the way a leader instills this desire is by investing in his followers or subordinates.
Pretentious of me to think this way? ...maybe, but God knows my heart.
And, for the record, investing in, and developing people, is not just about promoting them inside of my company. It's also not about getting myself promoted. The motives must be pure and unselfish, or the leader will not last long.
It's about having a part in enriching the overall being of every person who falls within your reach. The investment is true, and the dividends are loyal and wise followers whose lives are better because you've had a part in them.
I attempt to invest something in each and every person who works with me. I'm not always successful, but sometimes I am.
As I look at these videos, and the faces flashing across the screen, I see these returns on my investment:
1) several who have been promoted to management within our company
2) 4 who are now missionaries in other countries
3) 6 who are assistant pastors
4) 5 teaching in Christian schools
5) scores who are good, solid members of churches around the country.
6) good friends whom I love

Those are good investments!
(also, to those who do not know, I hire 90% of my employees from a local Christian college ... this is good for my business, but also good for the students paying their way through college. I thank the Lord for placing me where I am)

(Special thanks to Bryan Seddon, assistant manager and right-hand man, for producing and supervising the exceptional video below... you are irreplaceable!)

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