I hope as you read this and wind down 2013 you are able to see not only those items you didn’t check off your goal list but those that you did. There are very few people that I meet who shouldn’t consider themselves blessed for what they achieved. They just need to take the time to see it. I also hope you are taking these last moments of the year to prepare for the next. Preparation before Execution is one of our core values and I can tell you that personally I haven’t always done it but I know that when you do your chances of succeeding in the effort increase exponentially.
But I really didn’t want to spend my space here on preparation and goals this time. What I really wanted to talk about was creating value with people. I am a huge fan of Bob Burge’s The Go-Giver. While it sounds like a business philosophy book on the surface, the principals have been shaping my personal life for years. There are “5 Laws of Stratospheric Success” in the book but one has truly held my attention over the past year. The law states “The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.” But how do you really do that?
For me the first thing is to be present with the person(s) in front of you. So many times I have allowed my email, IMs, and texts to bing/bong/ting their way into the front of my mind even when I am having a conversation. Also, as with everyone, I keep a busy schedule and will often times allow the “what I need to do next” thought creep into my mind. But if the conversation/meeting was important enough to start or schedule in the first place then I need to focus on it. The person you talking with deserves that much. And this isn’t just a work thing. When I hear “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy” I try and take that as a call to stop what I am doing and focus on what they want. I am amazed how much more connected I feel to those people around me because of this. Now before my team or wife starts throwing digital darts at me for this let me say that I am far from perfect at it. But the first step is to see that I can do better and try. J
The second thing we have done here at Infinity is to try and move from a passive support a cause model to an active one. It is easy to write a check but how many of those causes would you give up your time for? So in 2013 we set a goal for each of us (21 people at the start of the year) to invest 8 business hours into those causes we as a group wanted to support. It could be anything from serving food, setting up an event, painting a house or other investments of time. It is easy to want to see something change and sit on the sidelines but when you step up and out to be part of a cause it truly is different. When you add in “being present” I am amazed how deep those bonds to the effort and to the others doing the lifting can become. It is also why I want the boards I serve on to be “doing boards” and not just “consent boards”. I am amazed at the work that many of them do to support our communities.
The last thing in giving of yourself is taking that focus and time and then understanding what those people and organizations truly need. It is then that you can bring others into the fold who might be able to serve even better than you. I am proud to say that friends who have called me to serve with them over the last year weren’t just doing it to fill a quota but because they know me, they know what I am passionate about and what my talents are. I also try and do the same. And when needs line up you can be the greatest gift you can give.
So as you enter 2014 and maybe hear that calling or maybe discover your WHY (Simon Sinek) listen, reach out and engage. You will be amazed by how much more you will receive than you can ever give.
I would love to hear what you are passionate about and how you work to serve. Maybe we can work together to make mutual causes even better.