I fully recognize that I would not be where I am today without countless numbers of people who have invested a portion of their lives into mine. A great example would be a guy named Kenneth Johnson. I’ve never met him, but I attended a private school from 6th – 12th grades. My mom was working three jobs after having recently been divorced, and he approached my mother and offered to enroll me in a great private school in Dallas. We couldn’t afford the tuition, so he paid it for 7 years. That likely totaled more than $40,000 – and he did it anonymously and without the desire for thanks.
As I started considering a career, I was feeling like I should be a minister, so Dr. Doug Wood invited me to be an intern in the youth division of First Baptist Church in Dallas. At the time, it was the world’s largest Baptist church – and I got to work there. I went on to have 17 more years of serving churches as a youth minister after that. And when the time came for me to “retire” from youth ministry, Tom Cottar and Roger Shepherd gave me a shot as I started my own graphic design business. It grew quickly and helped me through a very unstable transition time in my life.
Then came my introduction to recruiting. I knew nothing of it until Mike Mayeux and Gene Brown asked me if I would close my design business and come join them in recruiting. They invested so many conversations with me and helped me to understand the philosophy and the strategic part of recruiting. Later, Dane Reese invested his time and knowledge into me and taught me more of the contract staffing side of the business, and gave me the freedom to develop new lines of business and manage a global team. Now, not many years removed from that introductory period, I am the Managing Director and a Partner at a recruiting firm in Austin. There is no telling where I would be, or what I would be doing, had all of those people not invested in me personally. I am so thankful for each!
In light of this, I’d like to ask you to do two things:
- Think back over your life and consider who the “gurus” were that invested heavily in you. Reflect on them and be thankful to them.
- Consider whom you will now become a “guru” to.
A sponge has multiple purposes. It sucks up water, but it also lets water out of it. Don’t just suck (hahaha). Don’t just be the person who takes and takes and takes. Make it a priority to give and give and give.
What do you think? Are you up for it? Let me hear about your personal gurus and then ways you can become a guru to others!