Great leaders invest in breakfast, lunch, and coffee with others. These three meeting opportunities are a minimal financial investment with a high potential for rate of return.
What if I told you that for $20 you could spend one hour with someone who has walked through the season of struggle you are currently in and came out on the other side? Would you pay $15 to be able to learn all the secrets of your trade by interviewing someone further ahead of you in your field? What if you could purchase a newly released leadership book for $18 that could change your world? Would you consider paying $35 to sit in on an event to hear new leadership content?
You would pay it in a heartbeat. Wouldn’t you? So why not look at the cost of breakfast, lunch, or coffee the same way?
This week we explore seven perspectives on having breakfast, lunch, and coffee with others:
Investment vs Expense
Here are my answers to the four questions above. Yes, yes, yes, and yes! All day, every day. No doubt, there is a financial cost to these meetings, especially if you pick up the tab. The expense is negated by the financial benefit of what you gain in the process. The compounding interest of personal and professional growth that you benefit from.
In the financial world you can look at the cost of something as purely an expense or an investment. It is a matter of perspective. Perspective is a choice.
Learn From Other’s Experiences
Seeking wise counsel is always valuable. Wisdom is experience. Most of that wisdom is gained through experiences that do not necessarily go the way we planned. Ultimately through failure. I have always felt that it is way better to learn from other’s experiences than our own. The process hurts way less!
Serves As A Neutral Site To Resolve Conflict
These meeting settings are a great opportunity to resolve conflict in neutral territory. Have an issue with something someone said to you? Has a peer failed to carry their weight in a project? Someone disappoint you lately? Touch base over breakfast, lunch, or coffee.
Good dialogue pairs well with a meal or a cup of coffee. These settings draw down defenses and elevate resolution.
Opportunity to Express Gratitude
Buying someone breakfast, lunch, or coffee is a great way to express gratitude. Gratitude allows you to show appreciation for someone. Food and beverages make a good token of gratitude. More importantly, you give the person your time in this format. Time is the greatest gift that you can give to someone. It is one of the few resources that we cannot make more of.
Great leaders not only build relationships, they maintain and improve them. Anyone can start a relationship, but the maintenance and improvement of those relationships is the part that requires the most effort.
I am a strong believer in the theory that relationships are like a bank account. You must make small, regular deposits before you can make a big withdrawal. Do not believe it? Stop putting your pay checks in the bank and try to pay your house mortgage or the rent. The check will bounce like a basketball!
There are both transactional and transformational leaders in this world. Transactional leaders attempt to make the withdrawal before making small, regular deposits. Their relational checks bounce every time. Transformational leaders understand that we will all fail each other at some point. The difference is, they have money stored up in the relational bank when that withdrawal needs to be made. They will have grace when that moment comes.
Mutual Growth Session
Many times you find that whether you called the meeting or they did, it is mutually beneficial. We can all learn something from each other. We can learn from the guidance of others, but we can also learn by guiding others. Sometimes both happens in a good conversation with great people.
More The Merrier
Each Tuesday, I meet for lunch with a group of guys. We call it our weekly leadership group. I call it my personal board of directors, a concept developed by Jim Collins.
Todd is a pastor at a local church, Andy is the owner of the local Chick-fil-A, and Barry is a State Farm Agent. Three people from three completely different worlds. They provide me with different vantage points, accountability, and wisdom. The wisdom I gain from their experiences makes me better as a person and a leader.
One of the initial questions was would you pay to meet with someone further ahead of you? I did. In fact, it was a lunch appointment that got the ball rolling on this blog.
After starting, stopping, and stalling for over a year on the launch of Leadership and Main, I decided to go have lunch with Brian Dodd. Brian is a well-known leadership blogger with more than 70,000 visits to his site a month. That was a good place to start for someone who had zero visits a month!
During our lunch he was able to help me organize and simplify the concept for the blog and inspire me to get it going. Since then, he has been a huge supporter, frequently highlighting Leadership and Main posts on his Top Ten list(I highly recommend you subscribe here for great content). The twenty or so dollars I invested in barbecue that day has paid great dividends.
I cannot even begin to tell you the value of every get together over lunch, breakfast, and coffee I have had in my career. These settings have played an integral role in my personal and professional growth. Whether I paid the bill or they did, it was all an investment. Not an expense.
I am so grateful for those who have invested in me over the years through breakfast, lunch, and coffee. Their investment in me makes me the husband, father, and leader I am today.
Ordinary to Extraordinary Intersection
How do you view breakfast, lunch, and coffee? An expense or an investment? How can you better use this meeting setting to better others and the world you live in?