The Key to Stratospheric Success and Influence Is Giving More — Without Attachment
By John Boggs
As business leaders, we’re often advised (and even advise others) to be a “go-getter.”
The emphasis is to get out there and tackle each day, each challenge, and even each interaction with a spirit of “getting” something from the world. A Go-Getter is someone who goes after their goals and tries to get what is “theirs” in life.
But what if we flipped that advice on its head? What if we focused on giving, rather than getting?
The idea that giving is a surefire path to success is the powerful message of The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea, by Bob Burg and John David Mann, book #8 on my list of 10 most influential leadership books that have made a difference in my life.
This short, fun, easy-to-read book is written as a story featuring an ambitious, young Go-Getter named Joe — and a legendary consultant, nicknamed the Chairman, from whom Joe seeks advice. During his transformational journey from Go-Getter to Go-Giver, Joe learns five laws for stratospheric success, two of which I’ll share with you today.
Fun side note: The Chairman is modeled after a famous and highly influential person who happens to be a friend of mine. He is every bit as wise, giving, and inspirational as the book makes him seem.
Leadership Success Law #1: The Law of Compensation
This Leadership Success Law is quick, simple and one of my favorites.
When you consider the amount of money you make, it’s fairly easy to see that your compensation is directly tied to:
- The number of people you serve
- How well you serve them
With this logic, Burg and Mann present a simple solution to the challenge of earning more money:
Serve more people and/or find ways to serve them better!
Leadership Success Law #2: The Law of Influence
As a leadership expert and someone who has studied and taught leadership for decades, I understand and have experienced the deep tie between success and influence. The more people you influence — and the more influential you are — the more successful you are.
In The Go-Giver, Burg and Mann give this idea an interesting twist. They tie the idea of influence to how much time you spend thinking about others and about what they need.
Not only should you be thinking about others and their needs, you should be giving in some way to help them fulfill those needs and achieve their goals. Your giving is service, and as we learned in Law #1, the more you serve, the more successful you are.
Do you see how nicely the Law of Compensation and the Law of Influence work together?
Give to Give – Not to Get
Burg and Mann offer an admonishment: When you’re giving, don’t keep score. Don’t give to others with an expectation of reciprocity, thinking, “Well, I gave to them, so now they need to give to me.”
Instead, give freely. Give without attachment to the results. Give knowing that good will come back to you somehow, some way – but not necessarily through the person to whom you are giving.
People can sense when you are giving from a place of non-attachment. When you give to them and you’re not keeping score, you become more influential. Why? Because you are more attractive.
People want to be around givers. They want to be around people who make them feel uplifted, inspired, and nourished. That’s what you can do by focusing on giving.
4 Questions to Develop Your Giving-ness
Before you dive back into your busy week, take a few minutes to ponder these questions:
- How many people do I really serve?
- How well do I really serve them?
- How can I focus more on others and what they need?
- How can I give more — without attachment?
I’d love to hear your thoughts about the idea of being a Go-Giver. Please add a comment below and let me know your favorite way to give and serve others.
Go get your Leadership Meditation HERE!