Please enjoy this transcript of this episode with our founder, Doug Smith. It was transcribed and therefore might contain a few typos. For ways to connect with Doug, the notes, and for links to everything discussed, check out our show notes.
Doug Smith: 00:00 I believe that you will be thought of, remembered and rewarded for how you stewarded the influence and investment of others in your life. I’ll say that again. You will be thought of, remembered and rewarded for how you stewarded the influence and investment of others in your life. This is the L3 Leadership Podcast, episode number 196.
00:20 This is the L3 Leadership Podcast. Now, here’s your host, Doug Smith.
Doug Smith: 00:31 Welcome to another episode of the L3 Leadership podcast. My name is Doug Smith and I am your host. I hope you’re having a great day. I want to start this episode off by just saying thank you for being a listener. I hope that we’re able to add value to your life on a consistent basis, and if you haven’t already, it would mean the world to me if you would subscribe to this podcast as well as leave a rating and review and also share this on social media or encourage someone else to listen to it. That really does help us to grow our audience, so thank you in advance for that, it means the world to me. Again, thanks for being a listener. It means the world to me. I know you have a lot of options out there with podcasts, so thanks for listening to this one. In today’s episode, you’ll hear a personal leadership lesson by me entitled, are you providing a return on others investment in you?
Doug Smith: 01:12 It’s a lesson that I think will really challenge you and add value to your life, but before we dive into that, just a few announcements. I want to encourage you to become a member of L3 Leadership. If you’ve ever wanted to take your life and leadership to the next level. If you’ve ever desired to be surrounded by a community of leaders that will encourage you, challenge you, hold you accountable, and help you reach your potential, then you need to become a part of L3 Leadership. When you become a member, you’ll have the ability to join her launch one of our mastermind groups. You’ll have access to our community of over 130 leaders, And you’ll have access to the tools and resources you need to take your life and leadership to the next level. So stopped doing life alone as a leader and join a community of leaders that will help you thrive. To learn more about membership, go to L3 leadership.org/membership. With that being said, let’s dive right into the lesson and it will be back at the end with a few announcements.
Doug Smith: 02:03 Everyone today I want to ask you a simple question that could have a profound impact on your personal growth journey and the question is this, are you providing a good return on the investment of others in you? Are you providing a good return on investment in you? Specifically, I’m talking about mentors and here’s why it’s important to ask this question. Here’s what I believe. I believe that you will be thought of, remembered and rewarded for how you stewarded the influence and investment of others in your life. I’ll say that again. You will be thought of, remembered and rewarded for how you stewarded the influence and investment of others in your life. Let me break that down. First off, you’ll be thought of. Here’s a question for you. What do leaders think of when they think of you? I know for me personally, if someone’s willing to invest in me, I want them to think that I’m one of the greatest investments that they can make in life, that if they’re going to pour into anyone, they want to pour it into me.
Doug Smith: 02:53 That’s what I want to be thought of, and so I want to provide a good return on investment for anyone who’s willing to pour into me or the opposite could be true, right? Leaders could think, hey, if you invest in this person, to be honest with you, they’re not going to do anything with it. They’re not going to grow. They’re not going to pass it on to others. It’s probably not even worth meeting with them. That could be what people think of you. If you don’t provide a good return on investment. How about this? You’ll be remembered. Here’s what I know in life that mentors will come and go in your life but hopefully the goal would be to maintain a relationship with them and develop a reputation that everywhere you go, you’ll be remembered as someone worth investing in. And on the other hand, you could also be remembered as someone not worth investing in and you do not want to develop that reputation.
Doug Smith: 03:34 And then lastly, you’ll be rewarded. Here’s what I know about mentors. Mentors have the ability to open doors that others can open, to give us opportunities that we could never get otherwise, to connect us with people that we would never be able to connect with, and they have they have the ability to give us experiences that we couldn’t get without them. And so, however, even beyond that, not to mention the greatest reward is the growth that takes place as a result of them mentoring you. So what’s the opposite of that? Well, if you don’t provide a good return on investment, they likely won’t do those things for you. And you never know what you missed out on as a result of not providing a good return on investment to those who invested in you. Why else is this important? I just want to get these thoughts in your head, a one because I believe that’s an honor and a privilege to have anyone, literally anyone in our lives who’s further ahead in an area of life than we are to be willing to invest and their time and energy into us.
Doug Smith: 04:26 That is such an honor and a privilege. Secondly, here’s what I know about leaders and people that you want to mentor you. Their time is extremely limited and so we need to respect and honor their time by making the most of it. I can tell you this, there’s nothing worse than wasting a mentor and slash or potential mentors time. Thirdly, we need to give mentors or return on their investment or else we will likely lose the investment of their time and energy into us and I know I don’t want to do that. And then four, when we fail to give a return on investment and lose the investment, we never know what could have happened as a result of that investment. What if that, again, what of that mentor could have given you opportunities to introduce you to people that you would have never had an opportunity to interact with it all because you provided a good return.
Doug Smith: 05:10 So this is why asking this question is so important. Are you providing a return on others investment in you? Because really this is just a stewardship issue. How are you stewarding the influence of others in your life? Because here’s what I know. You’re either stewarding others, influencing you and investment in you well or you’re not. And let me just tell you why I’m passionate about this and why this lesson has been on my heart lately. We had the honor and privilege of having Mark Cole, John Maxwell Ceo come into town a few weeks ago and do an event with L3 Leadership and it was a. It was amazing and we had a little VIP q and a session with mark prior to the event and one of my friends asked the last question and I was interested to see what question he asked. And I did not see this coming at all, but he raised his hand and he said Mark, how can we get Doug a meeting with John Maxwell?
Doug Smith: 05:56 I’ve never someone so obsessed with someone and wanting to meet someone so badly and to be honest with you, I like sunk into my chair. I’m like, I’m going to kill you. The guy’s name is Greg. I’m like, why would you ask him that? But interestingly enough, Mark actually was fired up about it and he never directly answered the question, but he said things throughout the night. And in my personal time with him that got me thinking, here’s something that he said that I thought was so interesting. He said, listen, John will give you his love. He’ll give anyone his love, but you have to earn his time. And why? Because everyone in the world wants to spend time with him and he can’t spend time with everyone. And two examples stood out that I was thinking about. Number one, Mark talked about a girl named Gabby.
Doug Smith: 06:36 And to be honest with you, I forget where this happened, but Gabby attended one of their events and Gabby went up to John at the end of the event, she said, listen, I’m going to go to the president of my country and bring you in to train all of the leaders in our country as many leaders as we can and the government, et cetera. And John looked at her and he said, well, do you know the president? And she said, no, but I’m going to. And I don’t know what John and Mark thought after she said that, but here’s what I know. Two weeks later, John got a call from Gabby and she connected him with the president of her country. And that opened the door for John and Mark and their leaders to influence that country. Do you think John will spend time with Gabby? I think so.
Doug Smith: 07:13 Do you think he’ll invest in her? Yeah. Why? Because she provided an excellent return on investment. The other example is a personal mentor of mine, Matt Keller. And here’s what I love about Matt, and I actually got to attend this map, puts on a one-day leadership conference every year, down in Fort Myers, Florida, and it makes a huge impact. They have over a thousand business leaders and attended each year and John is a personal mentor of Matt’s. And John was a part of this year’s conference. He did a video interview with Matt and it was incredible. And here’s what I know when I was talking to mark about Matt, Mark Cole about Matt, he said, listen, Matt, after the conference text John a picture of people at the conference, and he just said, hey, I want you to know that, that I’m pouring into others as a result of you pouring into me.
Doug Smith: 08:01 And Mark said John’s smile was so huge and he got so fired up and he just, it just made him want to continue to invest in Matt. Why? Because Matt provided him with such a good return. That is so good. And in fact, a few weeks later, actually, this week, I was listening to one of Matt’s leadership podcast episodes, and he was talking about an experience he got to spend a few days with John Maxwell personally. And Matt was sharing that. And by the way, I’ll just promote Matt’s podcast. I encourage you all to subscribe to the Matt Keller Leadership Channel. It’s absolutely awesome and it’ll add a ton of value to your life. And he’s been sharing lessons on there recently about what he’s learned from being in personal contact with John Maxwell. And he said that John said this, at one point on their trip. And I thought this was so profound.
Doug Smith: 08:42 John said, if you invest in someone and you don’t see a return in six months, you’ve invested in the wrong person. Dang. That blew my mind. If you invest in someone and don’t see a return in six months, you’ve likely invested in the wrong person. And the only thing I can think of when I think about that as Mike Tomlin, the coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, he always said, listen, the standard is the standard. And I don’t know if the six months is the standard, but that’s what I thought of, so I just threw that in there, but it made me think about this and I started going back through some of John’s books because I know he had written on this subject and he is an excellent book that I’d recommend you reading called Leadership Gold. And one of the chapters, John talks about this principle and he said, listen, influence is loaned, not given, and I’ll just share a few things that John Sheridan and the book that I think, the impact you in this area of are you providing a return on investment in others and investment in you?
Doug Smith: 09:34 And John said, listen, when I, when I gave influence a way people took advantage of me, he said they failed to establish their own leadership using his influence. They took his influence in their life for granted. They were unable to build the organization by passing on influence to others. And so as a result, John had to come up with a system in his life. And the system is number one, not everyone will receive my influence. Number two, those who do receive my influence will be accountable. And number three, I expect a good return on my loan of influence. And he went on to say this, and he wrote this after this experience, he said, I can give you a position of leadership, but you must earn permission to lead. I can give you an opportunity to lead, but you must make the most of my opportunity.
Doug Smith: 10:20 I can set you up as a leader with potential, but you must stay up by fulfilling your potential. I can get people to follow you today. You must get people to follow you tomorrow. My influence is a loan, not a gift. Express gratitude and use it wisely. Give me a return on my investment. Get a give others a return on my investment and give yourself a return on my investment. I absolutely love that. And why is this so important? Because this is how leaders, and this is how mentors that you want to spend time with think when it comes to investing in others, they want to see a return on their investment. They don’t want to invest in people over and over and over again and not get a return on that investment. And so again, the question is, are you providing your mentors with the return on their investment?
Doug Smith: 11:04 You know, I don’t, I don’t know why this is on my radar so much, but I’m more than ever now I’m asking myself that question and I see people all the time saying, well, I want so and so to mentor me and I want this person to mentor me and my question to them, my question to myself is, what are you doing with the investment of the people who are already investing in you right now? What are you doing with them? Are you providing them with a good return? Because here’s what I know. If you’re not providing the current mentors in your life a good return, why would someone at another level be willing to invest in you and what makes you think that you’d be able to attract them as a mentor and keep them as a mentor? It’s been said. I’ve heard it said that the teacher comes when the student is ready, but I found this.
Doug Smith: 11:42 I found that often we undervalue our current teachers and we overvalue our future teachers or who we would want to be our future teacher. Cherish the mentors that are in your life right now. Focus on providing them with the greatest return you can, and if you do that, I promise other mentors will come to your life at the right time and the right season, and so let’s wrap this up with just talking about how can you provide a good return on your investment? Number one is very, very simple. Do what they tell you to do. Well, I would say even before that, listen, if you have a meeting with a mentor, come prepared, come with questions, come with expectations and ask them what their expectations are, but if you’ve had a meeting with a mentor, do what they tell you to do. This is the biggest thing I don’t see people do and update them.
Doug Smith: 12:26 Just like how Matt sent John a picture of the conference and said, look at the impact that we’re making, update them. Go to your mentor and say, Hey, here’s what you said to do. Here’s what I did. Can we meet again? And if you do that, if you do it, mentors tell you, I promise you you’ll never have a problem with people investing in you. Ask your mentor this, Hey, what is a good return on your investment in me look like? In six months what needs to happen in my personal growth for you to feel like investing in me as a worthwhile investment? What if you asked your mentor this? How can I serve you? How can I further your mission? How can I make you the best version of you? What if you ask them this? Hey, what lids are holding me back from providing you a good return on my investment?
Doug Smith: 13:08 Here’s what I know. If you start doing that if you start providing a return, who knows what’s going to happen through the relationships? If you start stewarding them well, you never know what can happen through one relationship with a mentor, and so here are just some last-minute actions for you. First, I want you to think about the people that are mentoring and investing you right now and ask yourself, am I providing a good return on investment for them? Number two, start thinking about intentionally, how can I start providing a return on their investment? Can I teach what they’ve taught me to others? Can I invest in leaders that have asked them to mentor but they don’t have time to? How can I provide a better return on their investment? And then how can you serve them? How can you go out of the way to serve the people that have loaned you their influence?
Doug Smith: 13:52 Those are just some actions that you can start doing right now because here’s what I know. Remember, you will be thought of, remembered and rewarded for how you stewarded the influence of others in your life. Thanks for listening today. I hope this added value to your life. I’d love your thoughts. If you enjoyed this podcast, it would mean the world to me. If you’d share this on social media if you would subscribe on iTunes or whatever app you listened to podcasts through, and if you have a would be willing to leave a rating and review, that would mean the world to me as well, so thank you so much for listening. Pass this on, listen to this with your team and I hope that it adds value today and more than anything, go out and provide a good return on those who have invested in you. Have a great day and I will talk to you next episode.
Doug Smith: 14:34 Hey everyone. Thank you so much for listening to my lesson on providing a return to your mentors. I hope that it added value to your life. If you want the show notes where you can see all the key takeaways and notes, you can download those at L3leadership.org/episode196. I want to thank our sponsor, Alex, Tulandin Alex is a full-time realtor with Keller Williams Realty and if you were looking to buy or sell a house in the Pittsburgh market, Alex is your guy. He’s a member and a supporter of L3 Leadership and he would love the opportunity to connect with you. To learn more about Alex, go to Pittsburghpropertyshowcase.com. I also want to thank our sponsor, Henne Jewelers, their jewelry owned by my friend and mentor, John Henne, my wife Laura and I got her engagement and wedding rings at any jewelers and we just think they’re an incredible company.
Doug Smith: 15:15 Not only because they have great jewelry, but they also invest in people. In fact, they give every engaged couple of books to help them prepare for marriage and we just love that. So if you’re in need of a good jeweler, checkout Hennejewelers.com. As always, if you want to stay up to date with everything we’re doing here at L3 Leadership, you can go to L3leadership.org and simply sign up for our email list and you will start getting emails on a weekly basis with everything you need to know and as always I like to end with a quote and I quote Gerald Brooks often and I love what he said. He said, “Leadership isn’t about the crowd you draw, but rather the number of people you help.” “Leadership isn’t about the crowd you draw, but rather the number of people you help.” Thank you so much for listening and being a part of l three leadership and I will talk to you next episode. Have a great day.