How Far IN Are You?

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?┬áThe 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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