In a recent conversation with a student leader advisor, we were discussing the different ways a student moves from interest to involvement. As we were talking, I began to envision the different levels of attention, engagement and energy people commit to within their organizations.
Since the question revolved around the two words that started with “IN” I created a diagram that used that word play. In the end, I ask the question: How far IN are you? The triangle helps to represent “the many” who reside in the bottom level, while fewer and fewer take the initiative to engage at the higher levels.
Level One: INTEREST
Something has caught a person’s attention. They are aware of a program, event or opportunity. They look favorably on it.
Level Two: INVOLVE
A person finds a way to spend some of their time and energy on a program, event or opportunity. They show up. They participate rather than spectate.
Level Three: INVEST
A person takes responsibility for a program, event or opportunity. They step into a leadership role and care deeply about the success or failure of the activity.
Level Four: INFLUENCE
A person uses their leadership role to make a difference in the life of another person. They not only care about the activity and work, they care deeply about the people they interact with.
I hope this is a useful diagram for you to use. It helps me to communicate that there’s a path that people can take. Each level requires more from us, but the benefits and returns are worth it. It’s a path to leadership. Not everyone will progress through the levels. But it can definitely serve as a target on the wall for those who aspire to be a leader within your organization.
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