Thursday, December 04, 2014

Are you a giver or a taker?

“In a world full of me-firsts and gimme-gimmes, the best strategy for standing out is ruthless generosity. Nothing builds trust and engenders loyalty better than unselfishness.”

These are the wise words of a young writer, Jeff Goins, whose blog I have been following for several years now.  For such a young person, he has wisdom beyond his years, and I believe he is on the right track.

I am sure many of us can think of examples of those who are the “takers” in life.  They run their business in a transactional way.  Getting a sale; winning the order and making more money, is their driving force.  From their perspective, building relationships is too time-consuming and can detract from their end goals.

While we can admire their focus and ruthless determination to succeed, and even want to help, I’ve found that you can give and give, but bottom line, it is all about them. And then when you in turn ask for help, they’re too busy. 

I actually feel sorry for people who have a scarcity or competitive attitude because they miss out in so much.  No one is going to rush to their rescue when their business tanks or they hit a life crisis.  Why should they?   You reap what you sow.

And it is not that you help others because you want to stock- pile favours which you can cash in when the chips are down. 

No, true generosity is giving without any thought of getting anything in return.  You do it because you want to help, and you can.

Nor is it measured giving, where you’ve calculated in advance what you could garner in rewards by being generous. There isn’t a life spreadsheet tracking it all.

Sometimes we can be suckered in, believing that you have shared goals, when all the time, it’s been all about her agenda.  Fortunately, when it is money-driven, I find that those who have ulterior motives, don’t hang around long, and when it is not working in their favour, they cut the chord quickly. 

It’s the same with friendships, where you’ve been the one always reaching out, making the calls, listening to the problems, arranging the dates.  There comes a time when you decide it is too one-sided, and you distance yourself from the relationship, be it business or personal.  Sad, but true.

Fortunately I have been blessed by people in my life who have lent a helping hand with no strings attached, no hidden agenda, just the desire to help me and my business succeed.

Like any relationship, business or personal, loyalty and trust have to be earned, but can be quickly lost and hard to regain once faith is lost.   

As Dr Ivan Misner advocates, “givers gain.”


Ruthe Anne said...

On the money Leanne! Thanks for the thought and the thoughtfulness....

Tsufit said...

Good reminder, Anne.

Anonymous said...

Have you read "Give and Take?" Adam Grant introduces a third personality type he calls "matchers" to describe successful givers. You can get the gist quickly in the "Better to Give" episode of Drucker on the Dial.