Those that invest in the stock market by now have no doubt heard countless “fail proof” strategies for investing success in 2014. Allow me to offer a different investment strategy for 2014: investing in someone else. As leaders, we often put our own development at the top of the priority list. After all, who ever spends enough time on personal development?
In 2014, however, you might consider investing in someone else. Leaders are best served to invest in their top performers under them that might one day replace them. It’s such a shame that some leaders feel threatened by their subordinates and undermine them instead of helping them succeed. After all, isn’t the success of the subordinate at least partially due to the leadership and mentorship that person receives?
Leaders need to take the lead and initiate regular sit-downs with subordinates that identify themselves as top performers. By guiding them along the right path, leaders only strengthen their organization and better prepare those same top performers to “pay it forward” to their own subordinates, improving the organization as a whole.
Whether it’s a regular lunch date, weekly phone call, or simply five minutes at the water cooler whenever time allows, it’s absolutely imperative for leaders to invest time into their subordinates to guide them as they grow within the organization.
Far too many leaders waste time worrying about a subordinate leapfrogging them on the corporate ladder, which is a huge mistake. Great leaders acknowledge that the only way to improve their positioning within an organization is to prepare someone to replace themselves. Jesus prepared the twelve disciples before issuing the Great Commission, star athletes help prepare bench players for crucial minutes, and other great leaders throughout history have committed themselves to developing a successor.
I’ve been blessed to get to know a group of college students that ask me for some time to bend my ear and learn from my experiences. I still network to pick the brains of marketing experts that have many more years in the game than I do, and I’m grateful for their gracious willingness to share their time. Think about whom you might invest in this year to “pay it forward” without expectations of anything in return. It’ll be your best investment this year.