Decide to become a person who Adds Value to everyone you encounter.
Adding Value to the life of another demonstrates several things:
- You have enough self confidence to build up another. (Self-focused people seldom feel confident. They are always reaching out for a hand of affirmation instead of being able to offer one.)
- You have battled the foe of "comparison thinking" and have won. (We are all better together than we are alone. Comparing ourselves to another is a waste of time and energy. Develop team thinking and watch amazing ideas blossom.)
- You are able to look beyond rough edges to see the potential in another. (This simple act of calling others forward will impact them for their lifetime. Remind them their past does not dictate their future. Speak Life!)
- You are a true leader with a genuine heart for others. (Self-leadership is tough. But when we take charge of our own thoughts and life to the point of promoting others, that is the ultimate test of leadership. Genuine concern for others can become your new driving force.)
Adding value is not a term I've coined. It is a commonly used term in the writings and speaking of famed leadership guru, John Maxwell. (There. I've given him credit. He is also famous for saying some of his best ideas have come from other people.)
Maxwell tells a story of his aging father who himself was a popular speaker, pastor and coach for many years. Rev. Maxwell had an episode with his health recently that left him with pronounced physical limitations. John, his son, was concerned about his father's emotional state knowing this was a drastic change to navigate. He went to visit his father as quickly as possible.
When he stepped into his dad's room, John had to wait a moment because Rev. Maxwell was talking on his cell phone. It was apparent he was concluding a prayer for the other person. After bidding them a fond farewell, the senior Maxwell raised the phone to his son.
With a strong voice he declared, "John, I'm experiencing my most fruitful season of ministry! I'm able to call and pray for anyone, anywhere in the world when the Lord brings them to my mind. Isn't that WONDERFUL?!"
Now here are the facts about Rev. Maxwell:
- He was no longer able to move around freely.
- He had become dependent on others for care.
- He struggled with limited energy.
- He had opportunity/cause to be frustrated, disappointed and even bitter.
- He chose to look beyond his "limitations" and find another way to help others.
Now to me, that's the consummate leader! When you can lead yourself through such a tough transition and still expect yourself to Add Value to others, you are the real deal!
I'm often surprised by the verbal tirades people throw around. They sound extremely passionate and can even whip crowds into a frenzy with their words. But when you take time to dissect their message, it comes back to being a call to action that will benefit the one speaking, not those listening.
Perhaps we would all do well to accept the challenge put to us through the example of Rev. Melvin Maxwell. Intentionally shift the focus from ourselves and what we want or need. Look instead at those around us.
Slow down and take a good long look at what they may be needing. Do you have the cloak of encouragement packed away in the trunk of your own life experience that can shelter them from the storm they're navigating? What good is it doing safely packed away in your trunk? Break it out. Lavishly share what they most need - a word of HOPE.
"I was where you are now. You are making much better choices than I did at that time. You're going to make it; I can see you have the courage to keep making good choices and to move yourself forward."
Perhaps they'll ask about your experience and perhaps they won't. Regardless, they will leave the conversation feeling more hopeful; less defeated by life. Why wouldn't we want to offer that to a fellow sojourner?
Well, that's my idea for today. Hope it's an encouragement to you. Be the one who Adds Value. I can promise you this, choosing this level of generosity will not be forgotten and it Will come back to you in double doses of JOY!
Have you experienced this first-hand? We'd love to read your story in the comment section below. Blessings!
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