Investing in People
Friday, April 11, 2014 at 4:08PM
Sunny Philip


As soon as we hear the word “investing,” we think of money – stocks and properties. We teach our children how to make money but we seldom teach them how to spend money. Teaching a person how to spend money is character building. It is investing in people. It is leadership.

James MacGregor Burns first used the term transformational leadership in 1978 to describe a process in which “leaders and followers help each other to advance to a higher level of morale and motivation.” This takes the role of leading beyond the traditional realms of managing, supervising, organizing work, and monitoring performance. These days a good computer programme can do all this. The main feature of Transformational Leadership is creating supportive communities.

Leadership is more about direction than destination. It is about journeying rather than arriving at all cost. If we become preoccupied with destination without proper attention to direction, even after reaching the destination we might feel empty, wasted, disappointed, unappreciated, rejected, and even angry. We see this on a daily basis, all around us – politicians, pastors, missionaries, and parents- having sacrificed so much of their life for a cause end up feeling dissatisfied and disenfranchised.  

Leadership is a lifelong commitment to contributing to the betterment of individuals, communities and nations by improving skills, proficiency and influence. What we are is just as important as what we do. Therefore, leadership is also about character. Character provides the basis for leadership.[1] It is the very soul of leadership. (We will look at this in a couple of week’s time.)

The most effective leaders are those who attend to the needs and feelings of their group members and structure the group so that stated goals are achieved without depleting the strength and character of the individuals within the team. In other words in the process of achieving their goal they input into the lives of their team members.

 Christian leadership is not just about leading others. It is also about developing others into leaders. The future strength and shape of the church is based on the type of leaders that are being developed today.1.    

1. How well do you know the people who work with you?

a.     If they have a personal problem will they share it with you?

b.     What sort of support can they expect from you?

2.  Think of one or two people who have invested into your life

a.     How have they contributed to your life?

b.     Are you prepared to invest in the life of other people?


[1] “Leadership without character is hell. Powerful humans, unrestrained by conscience, create a hell on earth for other humans, for animals, for the ecological balance of the earth. History is written by the victors, and the victorious are by definition effective leaders. They may also be depraved.” Frederica Mathewes-Green,  “Does Character Matter?”, Cited 12/11/01.

Article originally appeared on transform4life (
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