Do You Spend or Invest? And I’m not just talking about money…

craig groeschel podcastI listen to Craig Groeschel’s leadership podcast.  I decided to take a longer way to work this morning and drove through the countryside.  I chose a podcast where Greg challenged his listeners to invest instead of spend (Investing Your Resources the Right Way, Part 1).

Was he referring to money?  Not so much on this podcast.  He was asking his listeners:

  • Do you spend your time or do you invest your time?
  • Do you spend time with your team or do you invest in them?
  • Do you merely spend your resources or do you invest and leverage them?

This is all about resource allocation, Craig explained.

“Resource allocation is investing your available resources in the present to
accomplish your goals and objectives in the future.”

Spending is a one-and-done proposition, isn’t it?

“When you spend something, you’re using it up or paying it out. You’re making an even trade. But when you’re investing, you don’t expect an equal return—you expect an exponentially larger one.”

For example, you go out to eat.  You are spending money on a meal that may or may not bring future benefit.  You are making a trade – your spent money for a good meal.

But, you could go out to eat with your teenage daughter to invest time with her in creating a better connection with her.  Same restaurant.  Same food.  Same ambiance. Same cost of the meal.  But far different outcomes.  Spending vs Investing.

So think of your team at work right now.

  • Who do you need to invest time in this week?
  • How will you invest your time in meetings, projects, and people.
  • Where is the best place to allocate your financial resources in next year’s budget proposal you are working on?

The same holds true for your own personal development as a leader.  Are you spending your time each day or are you investing in yourself in becoming better?

  • Spending time in front of the TV night after night vs Investing in a good book that will sharpen your leadership skills.
  • Spending money hitting the drive-through on your way to work vs Investing in learning how to make healthier food choices and eating a wholesome breakfast at home.
  • Spending time during a break at work watching funny videos on social media vs Investing in your mental and physical well-being by going outside and taking a 15 minute walk.

Craig summarized his thoughts this way…

To get the highest return on your investment, you’ll need to be different than most leaders in a few key ways:

• Most leaders decide how to spend money. You’ll need to agonize about how to invest it.
• Most leaders want to use people to get the desired results. You’ll need to invest in helping leaders get better so that ultimately, the whole organization can get better.
• Most leaders spend their time doing tasks. You’ll need to intentionally invest your time achieving desired results.

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