Time to Invest

Investment is traditionally defined as the "commitment of resources to achieve later benefits.” Another description is to devote (one's time, effort, or energy) to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result. You put something of value in, in order to get something of greater value out. Things of value are worth working for.

We invest money into business or stocks. We invest time into practicing, rehearsing, and to getting ahead in business. We can invest hours “making it to the top.” We can become vested in our careers. Priests receive their vestments when ordained. The investiture is a large part of the upcoming Coronation of King Charles III.  

Improvisation is excellent at teaching us how to invest in one another. An improv team learns to put the team first and always make their partner/partners look good. A good improviser invests in the team. It’s about giving of yourself, about making the other look good, and about listening to offers. Improvisation teaches us how to invest in relationships. The very things that make a good improv scene, make for good business and, indeed, a good life. Christ, the Buddha, Confucius, all teach the way of living for others over living for self. Relationships take time and energy. You can have thousands of internet “friends” or likes. But to be in a life-giving, mutually beneficial relationship, takes an investment. One must invest time so that you can really listen. There is an emotional investment as well. True empathy and interest in one other require a deep relational and emotional connection. True friendship is a form of love, philia. My deepest and closest friendships came out of my improv group in Denver. Simple because we invested in one another.

What would it look like if, instead of business as usual, you invested as much time and energy into your relationships as you do business? What would it look like if you spent more time building relationships in the board meeting than working on getting your agenda passed? What if, instead of competing as adversaries, we began to invest in teamwork? If we invested in what was truly valuable, relationships, we could become more successful than working as competitors. Invest in your team. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Invest in relationships, they are what will carry you to the prize.  People are more important than things. It’s time we started investing in what’s important


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