Have you ever had a friend get a job selling life insurance?  If so you have you probably known this experience…a friend of mine accepted a great position selling insurance, and appropriately his first step in his new role was to reach out to all of his contacts to set up meetings.  You see when you begin working in sales environments one of the things you are encouraged to do is talk with your contacts about what you have for sale.  This is totally appropriate – the best resource you have to do well at your job is relationships.

By the time I sat down with this friend, he had decided to leave his position selling insurance.  He was shocked to find out that I knew why he had asked for the meeting.   I told him “this is not my first rodeo…I know when I am being set up for a sales lead meeting.”  I was not upset – I value this friendship, but I knew from moment one that he wanted something from me.  This meeting was about his desperation for sales, not my opportunity for insurance.

Perhaps you have avoided friends trying to sell you insurance.   Most of us know the tension and awkwardness of these sorts of meetings because we have experienced them in volunteer environments.  You see my friend was engaging with me out of desperation – he needed my business.  I felt the desperation, not the opportunity.  As a leader, we have the ability to make the same mistake.

What is driving you when you ask people to serve?  Invites to serve either come from a place of desperation or invitation.

An ask out of desperation communicates things are not as they should be, and the prospective volunteer might be the solution to the problem.  Conversely, an ask that comes as an authentic invitation communicates there is something great that is available to a prospective volunteer and all they have to do is say yes.

Tweet: A desperate leader believes he is the ultimate source of results. http://ctt.ec/J43ym+ via @cory1013

Tweet: Desperation leads to trading values for success. Invitation provides an open door opportunity that God will use. http://ctt.ec/Cf4ZT+

Are you driven by an internal desperation – a need to fill a void?  Or are you driven by the opportunity to help people get involved and make a difference with their life?