There was a man who owed a large sum of money, a $100,000 large. Let’s just this debt was not related to a mortgage or an expensive car, if you know what I mean. He was not very good with money and was very concerned about his situation. He reached out to an old friend who he knew was very good with money. He thought that if he could glean some wisdom from him it might be of assistance to him. His friend agreed to meet at a coffee shop on a Friday afternoon. After the meeting, his friend had a feeling that he should help him. His friend asked if they could meet again next Friday and talk some more. On the following Friday, they met and talked for about an hour. Finally the friend said that he wanted to help by paying his debt off off completely, the man was astonished! This is not what he was looking for but he was very grateful. His friend said that he would pay him $2,000 per week if he agreed to meet with him every Friday for one hour for coffee. The man quickly agreed and they set up the standing meeting. The first week found the man there very early and his friend showed up right on time with the check. The second week was the same. The conversations were getting deeper and after a few meetings the man found himself growing in ways he had not imagined possible. After the seventh week, the friend brought a check for the balance of the debt, roughly $85,000. The man was dumbfounded, stunned, silent, and very very grateful. His friend said that the money was his, free and clear. The only thing he wanted was to continue to meet for what remained of the original 50 week agreement.

Can a man really change when someone shows him unconditional love like this. His friend only wanted to help and continue to pour into this guy who had obviously made some poor choices. Would the man place the value of the friend in him or in his money? Whether or not they met the following Friday would determine where the value lies.

What is it like in your workplace? As a leader, where do you place the value of individuals? On the individual themselves, or on what they can do for you? If there is a culture that values individuals because each individual is valuable, there is a culture of honor present. If you value “the boss” more because he is the boss and you value the admin less because well, they are just an admin, then you have a workplace that does not value individuals and their abilities.

Our role as leaders is to value each individual the same. That’s right, the same. Go ahead and tell the child or spouse of the admin that they are less valuable. I submit that as a leader, it is your responsibility to find the best in each individual and provide them the opportunity to grow and thrive in an environment where each person is valued and honored. If you think you didn’t sign up for this when you took the leadership position, think carefully about your role and your desire to be a leader because like it or not, you are impacting peoples lives. If your current boss does not do this to you or to the team, then either find a new job, or start a new trend and set the example for him or her.



  1. Tim | Reply

    Excellent post. I think two leaders must come across in two ways. They must show they are competent and that they care (truly care). Your post really addresses the caring side of things and focusing unconditionally on individuals without always thinking about what they should do for you (since you are the boss, team leader, etc.).

    I also like the end of your post about starting a trend and setting the example or find a new job. The third option of doing nothing is just a sure way to be miserable and to guarantee you will not live up to your potential.

    1. Bill Rieger Post author | Reply
      Bill Rieger

      Thanks for the comments Tim. Sometimes doing nothing is a default because the culture leaves you feeling powerless. Trying to create an environment of power through empowerment is much more effective to me. Have a great Christmas!

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