How Could You Lead With $50?



How Could You Lead With $50

Leigha Beckman stunned me – in a happy way last week. She’s an intern and we’ve tasked her to bring a fresh, analytical approach to “Reading for Leading.” Next week we’ll send you her survey to help me keep RFL relevant and excellent for you. But last week, as I said, she jolted me when she asked me this question, “What if you showed your belief in RFL readers by handing out money to them? You know, like the priest did at your church?”

I loved the idea. I’m on it. Last week I invited you to affirmatively and proactively demonstrate belief in your peeps by giving them money with the simple invitation to “make things better around here.” Of course the “here” of RFL is a virtual space. It’s not quite like a church or a family or an office. But we are, I always hope, a learning community. And so, I believe you can help us all learn.

I’m going to give $50 to ten readers who would like (to use the metaphor from church:) take an envelope out of the collection basket and do something good with it. No strings. No accounting. Just an invitation to you to, in turn, demonstrate belief in others. And a second invitation to share how it goes with our readers. It would be cool if you reported back what you notice in yourself and others – what happens.

If you’re interested, just hit the “comment” button below and write, “I’m interested.” We’ll randomly select 10 names at noon tomorrow and be in touch to figure out how to get you the money and this wonderfully odd chance to

Lead with your best self!


P.S. If you missed last week here were some of my idea starters for what someone might do with some “belief money.”

What might YOU do with $50? Buy a phone headset to serve customers better. Give a frustrated customer a break. Give your $50 – or pool it with others’ – to help someone in the office who is struggling to make ends meet. Give the receptionist flowers. Buy a printer to replace the one that’s driving everyone crazy. Spend it on a software program that will let them do better design. Host a small reception for a customer, a 10-year employee anniversary, or a mom or dad returning to work after having a baby. Send Starbucks cards to customers or staff who’ve been great to work with. Be creative!!!  By the way, in the world of Everyday Leadership, you don’t have to ask for the “leaders” of the company to do this; you can lead, yes with your own money.

P.P.S.  As to using your own money, check out the very cool comment from Bill Hart; it’s the first comment last week.

82 responses to “How Could You Lead With $50?

  1. I’m interested. I am riding my bike 300 miles for the make a wish foundation, So I plan on using this $ to raise some for the foundation. It will be my seed…

  2. I LOVE this idea! Too often leaders forget that their team members need to appreciated. A few words of acknowledgement are worth their weight in gold… Or Starbucks cards in this. Ase!

    For $50, I would buy cards and write an honest, heartfelt note of appreciation to each team member. If one felt so moved to include a “favorite” cup of coffee too, great, but the words do matter!
    Thanks as always for the inspiration.

  3. Hi I am interested and will collaborate with my managers to discover an innovative way to use the money. Thanks for your wonderful feed and books about leading with our best selves.

  4. People in our area came up with an idea to save time and improve customer service. We were even willing to invest our own money to bring about this change. We wanted dual monitors for our PC’s, and we were willing to buy brand new monitors ourselves for this purpose. We were told we could not purchase them ourselves and that the state government could not purchase them because it was too expensive. Do you see the conflict in that reasoning. That was about two months ago, now after additional discussion the purchase has been approved but we still are unaware of when it will be implemented. Can you discuss employee buy-in even at their own cost since they see the value of the change and the unwillingness of those in control to buy-in themselves or the structure that prevents the implementation of these ideas?

  5. I’m interested. But I want to tell you that my perfectionism almost got in the way of letting you know. When an opportunity like this comes up, my first thought is that I must do something “big” or not do it at all. And then I am reminded that the I am acting exactly like the man in the parable of the talents who did nothing at all as a result of his fear. My perfectionism is based on the fear that others will think my idea will not be innovative enough or change the world in a significant way. The truth is that if it blesses even one person, it is enough and we do not know the ripple effects that blessing may create.

  6. I will give a contrary situation, in that leadership sometimes results in punishment. A leader msut be willing to take the consequences of leading. At a Michigan hospital, in the last year an employee, who among other work is given the job of administring a stay healthy progam, in which employees can earn $100 for meeting stay healthy goals. The goals have some some grey areas. The stay health administrator using the guidlines for the goals, awarded two employees $100 each, based on correcting and an unfair aspect the the guidelines within the grey areas. Other employees were also awarded money money with no repercussions.

    When the stay healthy employee’s recommendations went to the office which makes the final determination, the two were rejected. The stay health administrator had already told all the employees their recommendations. When the rejections came though, the stay healthy adminsitrator wrote checks to the two employees from her personal bank account.

    Unfortunately one of those employees showed their check to the final decision maker, who became angered. That decision maker is the human resources director. The HR employee had the stay healthy employee to her office, told them that they could resign, or take a 90 day suspension without pay. It happens that the stay healthy employee was nearing their date for a first level of retirement. They most likely would have continued employment, and not taken the basic reitrement, but they now were in a situation where they could lose their entore retirement over making the pladge to the employees good.

  7. I am interested. We did this last year at E&A Credit Union, it was called Project 100.

    Project 100, where we believe that Giving Changes Everything. From buying and delivering flowers to a retirement community to bringing coffee to our local police and fire departments, even passing out free dollar bills in community parks — Project 100 is leading by example. Over 100 days, we gave 100 people, $100-dollar bills. With no strings attached. That’s $10,000 in free money. All we ask is that each recipient think about how they could give back to someone else in the community.

  8. I’m interested. I am also going to put up my own money and randomly select someone within my office to do the same thing.

    This is such a great idea!

  9. This Week’s Story: ” Run on Stage and Grab It ”
    Last year I was in an audience listening to a motivational speaker. He whipped out his wallet and pulled out a One Hundred Dollar bill. Holding it up, he asked,

    “Who wants this One Hundred Dollar bill?”

    Lots of hands went up, including mine. A slow chorus began to build as people began to shout “Me!” “Me!”

    I began to wonder who the lucky one would be who the speaker would choose. And, I also secretly wondered — and I am sure others did, too — why he would simply give away a hundred dollars.

    As the shouts of “I want it” grew louder, I noticed a young woman running down the aisle. She ran up onto the stage, went up to the speaker, and grabbed the Hundred Dollar bill from his hand.

    “Well done, young lady,” said the speaker into the microphone.

    “Most of us just wait for good things to happen. That’s of no use. You’ve got to make things happen.”

    The speaker’s words have stayed with me ever since.

    Our lives are like that. We all see opportunities around us. We all want the good things. But the problem is, we don’t take action. We look at it longingly and wonder who will be the lucky one — instead of making our own luck.

    Next time we have an idea — remember that simply thinking about doing something is of no use. Do something. So next time we see an opportunity — think of the lady and the One Hundred Dollar bill. Just wanting it is of little use.

    Get up, run on stage and grab it. Don’t worry about what other people might think. Take action.

    ~ The author is Prakash Iyer, MD, who is Managing Director of Kimberly-Clark Lever in India and an executive coach. His first book was just published by Penguin as of February 15, 2012, and is entitled: “The Habit of Winning” ~

    Story at 52Best Website: Â ” Run on Stage and Grab It “

  10. I’m interested and will add $50 as well. Helping coworker in great need….found out she has mass close to her heart. Biopsy inconclusive. Requiring surgery this week. Hoping for the best, fearing for the worst.

  11. i already have a $90 lead. i have in a hidden spot in my office four caches of money (3 @ $20 and one at $30). these are borrowed on the trust system by some of the office personel. They might need some gas just before payday or just a quick small loan. The only caviat is that if they are not repaid (as I have no knowledge of who has what) the bank will get smaller and disappear. this has worked well for the last three years. The only problem in the future is that the banker (me) retires this summer. So as long as they continue to borrow and repay it will go on. But if anyone just takes it will end.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *