1) We add value to others when we truly value others.
Leaders who add value to others believe in their people before their people
believe in them. They serve others instead of expecting to be served. Jesus’
disciples began following him before they believed he was the Messiah. Why?
Because he saw their potential and believed they could be influencers.
2) We add value to others when we make ourselves more valuable to others.
The historical texts documenting the life of Jesus do not give much
information about him as a teenager or twentysomething. They do offer this
tidbit, though. “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and
man.” The whole idea of adding value to other people depends on the idea that
you have something of value to add. You can’t give what you don’t possess.
Personal growth precedes influence with people.
3) We add value when we know and relate to what others need.
As a leader, it’s dangerous to cater to what people want. You’ll wear
yourself out trying to please them. However, it’s important to be aware of their
genuine needs—the need be accepted, the need to do meaningful work, the need to
feel significant—and to help them meet those needs.
“Then his disciples began arguing about which of them was the greatest. But
Jesus knew their thoughts, so he brought a little child to his side. Then he
said to them, ‘Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf
welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me also welcomes my Father who sent me.
Whoever is the least among you is the greatest.’”
In the above passage, notice how Jesus discerned the true need underlying the
disciples’ silly boasts: the need to have influence and to make an impact. He
then instructs them on how to meet the need. Accept those who are overlooked and
neglected and be a humble servant. This verse inspired Martin Luther King, Jr.
who later summarized its essence: “Everyone can be great because everyone can
Thought to Ponder
Giving is the highest level of living. When we spend ourselves on behalf of
others we gain the sort of fulfillment that can never be bought with money or
satisfied with stuff. As a leader, what are you doing to add value to others?
How does serving others enrich your life?