“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin

I recently put up that quote in both my home office and session space. I am not big on quotes and inspirational pictures hanging on the wall; I don’t have anything against it, it just isn’t me. However, this quote seemed to really resonate with some of my personal goals this year, and it will help to keep it at the top of mind for me. One of the goals is for my wife, Reka, and I to both be more intentional and focused with our personal development.

While processing this idea, I have been reading, researching, and learning what I can model after the habits of others who have focused on their personal development – people like Warren Buffett and other highly successful people. Through this research, I came across the Ben Franklin quote. 

I think I am finally starting to get it. I like to say that the only three things in this world we can leverage are our time, treasure, and talent. I believe this, combined with the older and more successful I become, the more I tend to value time and talent. I am also coming to believe that these two have a symbiotic relationship, in that the more we can focus on guarding and managing our time, often our talent and knowledge grow proportionately. As a result of time invested in thinking and improving your talents, you will likely make better decisions that result in more time and treasure.

It may sound like a reach, but I believe that slowing down to think, improving our skills, and empowering ourselves are likely the very best investments we can make. 

This sort of thinking applies to our senior leaders more than anyone. When working with leaders, I like to ask them to think about what is the highest and best use of their time. For most senior leaders, this may look like creating and managing a handful of important relationships, identifying the industry trends, recognizing the opportunities they present, or in many cases, coaching and mentoring their direct reports. All of these things can have a massive financial impact on the organization. 

By massive impact, I mean massive. When I receive pushback from senior leaders, I ask them the potential worth of a new strategic acquisition, or what a new direction would provide to the organization? The obvious answer is that it could be worth millions. Great, yes, that is where I want the CEO investing their energy because that is the highest and best use of their time. If they possess the ability to have those ideas and thoughts, they only need to have one ever year or so. In other words, if that work is worth a million dollars an hour, they need to figure out how to make sure they do it, even if it doesn’t happen that frequently. It doesn’t have to.

I would go so far as to say that this is the obligation of a great leader: Step aside, allot the time to improve their skills, push their thinking, and explore. 

So, the next time you are looking at making an investment, I would urge you to first consider what you are investing. Is it your time, improving your talent, or your treasure? Next, look at the particular outcome you are seeking to achieve. 

Based on these thoughts, where can you invest and see your highest return?

Are you interested in learning how to better invest your time, talent, or treasure? Do you need assistance with helping your team set up these “investments”? We can help with that! Reach out to us today for a no-obligation consultation.

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