Effective Service

Whether we choose to admit it, we all need help. There is nothing more frustrating than being on the receiving end of “help” only to find that the need hasn’t actually been met. To that degree, I’m proposing there is a right and a wrong way to help people. You can be sincere with serving others yet sincerely wrong. Real help should ultimately yield positive outcomes.

L.E.A.D. supporter Angela King with a LEADers from J. E. Brown Middle School for Hats Off 2013 at GA Tech
In my efforts to help other service minded folks out there, I’m sharing my checklist for authentic service. I hope you find it helpful. 

What specific core help does the individual need?
Often times I try to be the answer to the problem only to realize that I’m treating the symptoms and not the illness. In order to treat the illness, establishing a trusting relationship is a must. That obviously doesn’t happen overnight but it needs to happen in order for the right questions to be asked and answered so all can get to the core of the problem. If we can solve the cause, we can surely solve the effect. We spend way too much time solving effects and not causes. That’s a problem for everyone.

Do I have the capacity to help?
An empty glass won’t refresh anyone. Before you can influence others to change, you need to contain something worth offering to others. A skill set combined with an emotional connection is powerful. Without both, the problem can become larger. I have a skill of baseball development that I use everyday to provide hope through my businesses, Diamond Directors and L.E.A.D., Inc. Ever wonder why I don’t have a pilot mentoring program? You guessed it, I don’t know how to fly a plane.

Am I willing to be available for a long period of time?
When we enter into relationships, we enter with our whole self. All of the disappointments and fears that we’ve experienced from the past are along for the ride. In order to effectively help someone, there must be consistent, empowering interaction to break down the walls of failed past relationships. This part of the process is hard and it takes more time for some than others. This is the foundation upon which your future engagement with your mentees will be laid. Be intentional and consistent; set the expectation from the beginning so you won’t join the ranks of do-gooders who’ve let them down before. 
Is this about me feeling good or the person in need?
A man always has two reasons for doing anything – a good reason and the real reason. Now it’s time to get all the liars to the table. This point is one of the main reasons why people that need help ALWAYS end up needing help and never reach their next level. If my help is about getting my name/photo in the media or increasing my status in the community then I’m only helping myself. On the flip side, if my help is about moving my mentee from a state of need to a state of self sufficiency then I have to be willing and able to remove my ambition. If not, more harm will be done than good.

Honored to hang out with the L.E.A.D. Ambassadors at the Cobb Galleria for Sports Champions Of Greater Atlanta Awards Banguet
If you want to truly help people, set S.M.A.R.T. goals with them and you will know two very important things: 1) how to measure your impact in their lives and 2) are they even ready to receive help and act on it. 

S-Specific Goal…what are we doing?
M-Measurable Goal…what are the steps to doing it?
A-Attainable Goal…can we really do this?
R-Relevant Activities towards the Goal…to do list and a not to do list
T-Time Measured Goal…how long will this take to reap what was sowed?
Remember, time is a non-renewable resource. Use it wisely. Be intentional. And for the love of Almighty God – be real.