This short story is the one of the best examples that shows what leadership should be and should not be. This story was written by Michael Rogers.
One day a little boy found his mother in the kitchen fixing dinner and slipped her a piece of paper. She dried her hands on her apron, and took a minute to read it. This is what it said.
For mowing the lawn: $5.00
For cleaning my room this week: $1.00
For going to the store for you: $.50
Baby-sitting my brother while you were out: $.25
Emptying the Garbage: $1.00
For getting good grades on my report card: $5.00
For raking the yard and picking it up: $2.00
Total owed: $14.75
When the mother was finished reading the note, she stood there and looked at him. He could see memories of these events flashing through her mind. She picked up a pen and pad of paper and wrote the following:
For the nine months I carried you while you were growing inside of me: No Charge
For every night I stayed up with you when you were upset or sick, held you and prayed for you: No Charge
For all the difficult times and my tears: No Charge
For all the nights I worried about your future and what was ahead: No Charge
For your shelter, food, clothing, toys and even wiping your nose: No Charge
She said, “Son, when I add up all of the cost, my love for you is No Charge.”
After the boy finished reading his mother’s note, big tears welled up in his eyes. He looked straight at his mother and said. “Mom, I sure do love you.” The son then took the pen and his mother’s note and wrote in big words, “PAID IN FULL.”
When you meet the needs of people do you do it because that’s what they need or do you do it to get something in return? Do you lead primarily from your heart or do you lead from a Return Of Investment perspective?
This video below is a great talk that reveals that we should give openly and fully. Don’t hold off for something better later like some kind of investment. Check it out!