I sometimes feel that I should try to add value everywhere I go. However, this does not always happen. In fact, I more often receive value from others more than I give it. And that’s okay. Yet I still seek to add value to others. I truly feel that I am most valuable where I can add the most value. Fortunately, I feel that there are two places that I add the most value: at home and in my ministry.
Mark Sanborn, in his book, The Fred Factor, created a recipe for adding value. Three things that he guarantees adds value to others: 1) Enjoyment; 2) Enthusiasm; 3) Humor. We know this to be true. We all love to hang out with people who bring those three things into our lives. But adding value to people goes much further. In fact, Mark Sanborn also said, “When you don’t see much meaning in what you do, you won’t bring much value to what you do.”
So there are two questions worth asking:
- How do you see meaning in what you do?
- How do I start adding value to others?
The first is the harder question to answer and I won’t attempt to answer it for you. That is something that you have to take to prayer with God and your mentors.
The second question is a little easier to answer. I find that there are three places to begin, especially those of us who have leadership roles in ministry.
1. Put others first in your thinking
This is difficult to do. I have gotten to a place in my ministry where sometimes I feel I can just cruise. When I’m on cruise control, I know that I am not putting others first in my thinking. In fact, cruise control means I’m just coasting and may not even be thinking at all! When I get in this mode, there is only one cure: go out and meet with the people I am supposed to be serving and listen to them. That leads straight into task number 2.
2. Find out what others need
I think I am so smart. So smart, in fact, that I believe I know what other people need more than they know what they need. Yeah, and someone needs to knock me off the high mountain on which I’m perched. Parting of going out and being with the people I serve is actually finding out what they need. This means I can’t stay in my office and assume I know what they need.
3. Meet that need with excellence and generosity
Once I have collected the data (i.e. listened and found out what they need), I create a plan to meet that need. When I provide what is being asked for, I know I will get the support I need from those I serve.
So ask yourself today, how can I starting adding value to the people I serve?