Investment Strategy

Lance Excellence, Leadership Leave a Comment

When it comes to your money —

If the chips above represent your income —

  • Red = your obligations (Don’t Touch!)
  • Blue = your future (Save!)
  • Green = your extra available for investing
    • You can afford to lose these 4 chips because you’ve already taken care of your present and future.
    • You’ve got 4 chips to play with — spread it across 2-3 different types of investments.
    • Don’t try to double those chips — focus on minimizing the risk of losing them and gladly accept the incremental growth that will come.

Now that your money is taken care of, what about the rest of you? Should you follow those same rules for investing your life, your work, and your heart? When it comes to being a Leader, how should you invest these things in your mission to lead?

Ask a decorated Navy Seal about Leadership as my friend Ryan Hawk (@RyanHawk12) did, and notice the difference:

HAWK: I’m asking specifically about the best leaders, the most inspiring, the most successful leaders. What is one common trait or characteristic they all had in common?

HATCH: Investment. … If you weren’t invested, then people would die. Invested took on a whole different meaning than what I think it means to most people, and that is across the board: from where you’re sleeping to how you’re eating, to how’s your family, to what’s up with your guns, to can we get better equipment. Investment … In my community, that’s the one defining word: we are invested.

The all-encompassing expectation of Jimmy Hatch‘s answer is easy to dismiss as an outlier unique to truly “people would die” circumstances. But to do so is really to miss the point. Success and Failure are the opposite ends of any Leadership spectrum. Sure, different situations have different currencies that measure against that standard, but the fundamental dynamic remains the same.

All too often in our non-special-ops world, we invest ourselves in our work by following the same rules for investing our money: we focus more on protecting ourselves than on taking a risk. As a leader, you will not achieve excellence, unlock greatness, or leave your mark by investing yourself like this:

12. Expert investors care about risk; novice investors shop for returns.

  • If you focus on the risks, the returns will eventually come for you.
  • If you focus on the returns, the risks will eventually come for you.

Steve Jobs famously described his mission to “put a dent in the universe.” Investing yourself as you would your money is a perfectly safe strategy for avoiding doing just that. But if you’re interested in doing more than just arriving at the end of your journey with the chips of yourself you started with plus some incremental growth, then aim high.

Run the risk.

Go all in.


Leave a Reply