If you get nothing from this series, I pray that you catch this key. If nothing else, this is the #1 key of the Kingdom, which is adding value to those around you. Jesus put it this way in Matthew 22:38-39
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your mind, and with all your soul. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
Love your neighbor is synonymous with ADD VALUE TO THOSE AROUND YOU. I have found that the most difficult part is not my ability to love those around me, but to show my love for those around me. I constantly have to ask myself, “Matt, how much value do those around you KNOW you have for them?” If I am really honest with myself, most of the time I don’t think they feel nearly as valued as they are in my heart. The challenge I face, along with many leaders, is to slow down long enough to shake a hand, give a hug or even write an appreciation letter to those I love and work with. This is especially important working in a church setting…in fact, this IS the job. Many times in church leadership, we focus our attention on prepping for next Sunday’s service, making sure all the events and programs are on task and schedule. When Sunday morning comes around, we immediately busy ourselves reviewing announcements, making sure computers are on and lyrics ready, and briefing our ushers on when to take up the offering. Often times, the last thing on our minds Sunday morning is “touching” the people who came to receive the love of God. As leaders in the church, our #1 job is to Love God. I am convinced that if we are honest about this, loving others will be a natural overflow. As love becomes a natural expression of who we are, our ability to add value to other’s lives increases exponentially.
Stephen Covey refers to the process of adding value to others in terms of Emotional Bank Account.
He describes this concept as follows:
If I make deposits into an Emotional Bank Account with you through courtesy, kindness, honesty, and keeping my commitments to you, I build up a reserve. Your trust towards me becomes higher, and I can call upon that trust many times if I need to. I can even make mistakes and that trust level, that emotional reserve, will compensate for it. My communication may not be clear, but you’ll get my meaning anyway. You won’t make me “an offender for a word.” When the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant, and effective[i].
In essence, adding value builds trust. The more trust you have earned, the easier and more effective your team will function. Below you will find ten ways to effectively add value to your team. If this is an area you want to improve in, take note of the sources in my end notes – there is a wealth of material waiting for you to discover within the pages of the books mentioned.
[i] Stephen R Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change. (New York, NY: Free Press 2004) 188-190
10 Ways to add value to those around you:
- Be Committed[ii]
Determine that your relationships shall persist regardless of circumstance, challenges, and conflicts. Dedicate yourself to maintain and grow the relationships no matter how tough things get.
- Be All There[iii]
When speaking with someone, make them feel like they are the only one competing for your attention. If you are busy, schedule a time to meet when you can focus on them and what they have to say.
- Enter their world
Get to know their interests and hobbies and talk about the things they think are important.
- Never let a situation mean more than the relationship[iv]
Always value the person above the work they do and you will build successful relationships with those around you
- Celebrate their success[v]
Sincerity in this area requires that you stop competing with those you lead. From this model, celebrate when others see success and even when they may not see it yet.
- Believe in them[vi]
Show those you lead that you believe in their potential. Empower them to lead so they can function at their fullest capacity.
- Attend to the little things[vii]
Take time to notice those you lead. Let them know you care and be sensitive to their needs. A simple word of kindness goes a long way.
- Keep your commitments [viii]
If you make a promise to someone you lead, keep it.
- Apologize when you mess up[ix]
As leaders, we must be willing to admit when we missed the mark or poorly treated someone below us. WHEN this happens go directly to the person and offer a sincere apology by taking ownership of what you did wrong and offering a way to correct that mistake.
- Be loyal to those not present[x]
Make a commitment right now to not only stop talking about people when they aren’t present, but to stick up for them – even when it seems like the least popular thing to do.
If you fail to value the person above the work they do for you, you have missed the mark and failed the mission. Now is the time to refocus and try again with a new approach. Adding value to others is more than appreciating your teammates; it is intentionally taking time to show your appreciation for them. By implementing these ten habits you will find that your team will exceed your highest expectations!
What are some other ways to add value to those around you?
Leave your answers in the comment section 😀
[i] Stephen R Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change (New York, NY: Free Press, 2004), 188-90.
[ii] John Maxwell, Winning With People (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2004), 183-4.
[iii] Chris & Kerry Shook, Love At Last Sight: 30 Days to Grow and Deepen Your Closest Relationships (Colorado Springs, CO: WaterBrook Press, 2010),15-6.
[iv] John Maxwell, Winning With People (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2004), 42.
[v] Ibid 215.
[vi] John Maxwell, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1998 & 2007), 118.
[vii] Stephen R Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change (New York, NY: Free Press, 2004), 192.
[viii] Ibid. 193.
[ix] Ibid. 197-9.
[x] Stephen R. Covey, The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness (New York, NY: Free Press, 2004), 174-5.