Your most valuable resource is your time. That is the one thing that we are always short of. The one resource we cannot generate more of. It’s our most precious resource, and one we should truly treasure and spend wisely.
That’s why I also believe that it’s the greatest gift we can give someone. For example, our spouse, our child, a friend, a colleague, or even a total stranger.
Often we are asked to give our time. A friend wants our advice; a colleague in need of our assistance; our child wanting our attention; or a non-profit organization in need of volunteers. Sometimes our first reaction is to look for a good excuse for why we cannot give our time. That’s not surprising.
We’re not bad people. We simply feel that we have no time to give. Mostly it’s because we’re just trying to do more than we have time for.
We’re all experiencing a significant shortage of time these days. It feels as if we’re constantly struggling to juggle a long list of tasks and activities within our busy lives, both at work and at home. Most of us have an endless to-do list. So it’s understandable why it’s easy to say no or simply ignore additional requests for our time.
And yet, if we want to stand out, be appreciated and valued by those we care about, there is no better way than giving them some of your time. It’s the one thing people will never forget and will truly appreciate.
Moreover, as leaders, giving our time to those who turn to us will increase our influence and value. It also sets a positive example for others to follow.
When I just started my career, my GM was a charismatic leader whom we all admired and respected. He since went on to become an extremely successful person, as a business executive, an entrepreneur, and investor. He is currently an active chairman in a couple of high-tech companies, on the board of directors of a couple of others, the chairman of the board of a large top-tier university, as well as a private investor. It’s safe to say he is a busy man.
And yet, whenever I reach out to him, for advice or assistance, he promptly returns my e-mail or call. He doesn’t need anything from me. He sincerely wants to help and makes himself accessible and available to those who need him. I’m always impressed and grateful for that. I also try to follow his example.
As leaders, we are in a great position to influence people and make a difference in their lives. Many times, it’s not what we say but what we do that leaves the strongest impression. When we give our time to someone it says better than any word can say how much we care and value him. And it’s a gift they will always remember.
To quote William Barclay: “Always give without remembering. Always receive without forgetting.”