What leaders can learn from the donut

Have you ever heard of the law diminishing returns? Let's go to the Wikipedia

Do you need an example?  Let's go to my good friend Jim Rome (we're not real friends but I love his radio show).

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Jim says that the ultimate proof of the law of diminishing returns is the donut.  The first one is amazing.  The second one is still kinda good.  The third one you regret eating.

Perfect example of the law of diminishing returns.

A few years ago I decided that I was no longer going to take a loan on anything that has diminishing value; especially cars!  Unfortunately, leaders make this mistake ALL THE TIME.  I don't mean with cars though, I mean with people.  Proverbs 22:7 reminds us that, "The borrower is slave to the lender."

Here are common thoughts leaders have that are emotional loans with people:

1.  This person will solve my problem.

2.  This person will never walk away.

3.  This person will take gentle care of me.

4.  This person has my best interest at heart.

5.  This person will protect me from harm.

I recently had a person enter into a situation that really needed help and work.  The moon was offered.  Money, time, energy, and community work was promised.  My mistake was thinking, "THIS PERSON is going to fix THIS PROBLEM."  Then reality set in, and what really happened is that I had made myself a slave to the lender.  Volunteers, especially, will always look at a job from the outside and say, "I can do that."  After time they realize that far more is involved than what they thought and things start to diminish, both the work that needed to be done and the relationship.

How do you recognize diminishing return people?  Here are some things to listen for:

1.  They really enjoy saying, "I."  You will probably here that word more than any other word.  "We" is a seldom used word.

2.  They promise what they have to offer will solve your problem

3.  Their arrogance will reach across the table like a third arm and slap you, call you names, and insult your mother.

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4.  When something they committed to doing stalls, they will blame you.

5.  When they call and you see their name in the caller ID your stomach slaps, calls you names, and insults your mother.

6.  You start to realize their circle of influence is much smaller than they say.

As a leader you can not allow yourself to become slave to the lender.  If you go, everyone else follows you.  You can't afford to take emotional loans on relationships that will lead to the law of diminishing returns.

What other traits have you experienced in relationships where the law of diminishing returns plays out?