Most of us are familiar with the term, “go-getter,” someone who goes after what they want and makes things happen. But as someone who often writes about the critical importance of a “giving” approach in leadership and business, I fully connect with Bob Burg’s “go-giver” theory.
In Bob‘s book, “The Go-Giver,” he and Co-Author John David Mann espouse the theory that by shifting your focus from getting to giving, by putting others’ interests first, and by constantly and consistently adding value to others you will live a life of not just fulfillment but of great success. There are “Five Laws of Stratospheric Success” that Bob reveals which bring this theory to life in business and leadership:
1. The Law of Value: Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.
2. The Law of Compensation: Your income is determined by how many people you serve, and how well you serve them.
3. The Law of Influence: Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other peoples’ interests first.
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4. The Law of Authenticity: The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.
5. The Law of Reciprocity: The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.
I can’t tell you how essential I believe it is to truly mull over these five laws. When was the last time you thought about how much you give others in terms of value? How much value do you give your customers? Colleagues? Company? Children? Friends? Spouse? Have you thought about how well you serve these individuals? What about how abundantly you place these peoples’ interests first?
One thing that became crystal clear to me when I asked these questions of myself: Where I give and serve most abundantly without even a thought to my own interests and in accordance with these laws is where my true passion lies. This was an eye-opening revelation for me. Is the same true for you?
I would also venture to guess that it’s in these situations I’m most influential, as Law Three gets at. When I put others’ interests at the forefront I create a relationship based on respect, commitment, trust, and loyalty. I am showing I value these individuals enough to do this, and in return I receive the aforementioned respect, commitment, trust and loyalty and I earn influence. This is leadership.
Now, I believe it’s critically important not to lose sight of our own interests in the process as this would mean we’d be losing our selves. If none of our own interests are being met then we’re not really leading. But, if we are leading and creating from that place of true passion where we give more than we take and serve others well, won’t we be meeting our own interests at the same time we’re placing others first?
Please let me know what you think! Leave a comment and/or join me, Steve Woodruff and Bob Burg tomorrow night, March 13th for Leadership Chat on Twitter as we discuss, “Leadership Influence the Go-Giver Way!” It starts at 8pm Eastern Time and promises to be a thought-provoking global conversation! Don’t miss it.
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