What the Heck’s the Point of Giving?

Key Point: The headline on a recent New York Times Magazine front page: Is Giving the Secret to Getting Ahead? Susan Dominus’ article focused on 31-year-old Dr. Adam Grant, the youngest-tenured professor ever at U Penn’s Wharton School. Besides highlighting that Grant walks his talk, the article introduces us to what will likely be (you heard it here first) the best selling business book of 2013: Give and Take. Click on the video link to hear Grant talk about the book.

Grant has published a ton of research that has generated broad interest in the study of relationships at work. The following is from one of his abstracts: “We found that participants who reflected about giving benefits voluntarily contributed more than participants who reflected about receiving benefits… Giving may be more powerful than receiving as a driver of pro-social behavior.”

“Give and Take” starts with a premise that service to others has the potential to make us more productive than exclusively thinking about helping ourselves. Those of you who know me understand how strongly I feel about the value of giving. In fact (I can now say that) recognition of others and giving of ourselves is one of the most powerful self-motivators and perhaps counter intuitively the most important path to accelerating ourselves in social groups. How much do you really give of yourself daily? At work? At home? At play?

Character Moves:

  1. Just give by adding value to others. Do it without expecting back and it will likely return ten fold, often in unexpected and delightful ways. I could write a book of stories that have taught me this over and over again. And I must give more to become better and better again. 
  2. Then give more. Sound exhausting? On the contrary, you will find it uplifting and energy boosting. 
  3. Reflect on the benefits of giving and see what happens. Do your own personal research.
  4. Urgently give by contributing value to others’ lives but be patient to receive. Let the anticipation of getting something back vanish.

Give and Take will be released April 9.

Give and Take in The Triangle,

Lorne

 

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