in Career Development

GIVING is GROWING (Generosity and Leadership)

I am on my way to Helsinki (Finland) and it turns out again that traveling is the best time to read/think/write. Thanks to offline blogging tools, you can now write anywhere. I wrote a blog post earlier while traveling in a VR Fast train between Helsinki and Tampere.

This time it is Delhi IGI airport.

I have a wait time of 6 hours (past midnight) before I catch an early morning flight to Helsinki. I asked myself, “How do I productively use this time to ‘give’ something valuable to readers of this blog?” This got me thinking about the power of GIVING. The act of giving forms the core of all human transactions and yet, in the race of stiff competition and survival, we often tend to hold things back.

Acts of Giving, Generosity, Service and Helpfulness – Why do they matter? Consider the following:

  • We spend all our life trying to keep ourselves happy (via material acquisitions) only to realize later that true happiness is in GIVING, in selflessly helping people and serving customers.
  • True act of service is to give selflessly without expecting results. This also relates to theory of Karma (preached by Lord Krishna in the great Indian Epic Mahabharata). Even Bible says “give and so shall you receive”. But we often don’t pay heed to these while we struggle to compete and survive.
  • It is said that we learn more when we teach. Similarly, we get more when we give.
  • When you give and receive in cycles, you form strong and authentic relationships.
  • To me, the best act of giving is to help someone when they are in need, to add value to them via meaningful conversations and genuinely offer help. In fact, you have to first offer help before you get the right to seek help.
  • Giving is beyond just money or material wealth. You can give your service, knowledge, love, care, attention and time.
  • As a leader, you can only “get” the best performances if you “give” your best attention. You can manage your people ordinarily (as a job) or you can engage with them and seek to give them more and more.
  • I heard a phrase “All life is give and take” – you see, here as well, give comes first and then take.:)
  • When you demonstrate generosity in giving, you create a positive ring around you which not only keeps you happy but also positive and motivated.
  • Acts of giving lifts our spirit and makes us lighter from within. When we give, we become selfless, leaving selfishness aside. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet can vouch for this.
  • Just as you look for opportunities to grow, you should also look for opportunities to give. More you give, more you grow.
  • From a business perspective, when you meet requirements, you “satisfy” the customer. When you give more than their expectation, you delight them. Delighted customer brings more business. It is cyclic process of giving and receiving.
  • Giving is at the fulcrum of wealth creation process.

If you agree to these ideas, I would like to leave you with three critical questions:

  • What positive difference are you bringing about in someone else’s life by giving your knowledge, ideas, love, care, attention and time?
  • How many times did you refrain from sharing some very useful information in your organization fearing that your competitors would get better than you?
  • When did you last “exceed” someone’s expectations?

On that note, have a wonderful Sunday and a great week ahead!

Photo Credit: Kris Litman’s Flickr Stream

13 Comments

  1. Hi Tanmay,

    I am in allure with every word that you expressed above. I really appreciate your ‘giving’ away of valuable insights by this post :)

    I’d like to extend this one: “As a leader, you can only “get” the best performances if you ‘give’ your best attention.”

    As a leader when you expect to ‘get’ the best performances, you are actually ‘giving’ something very valuable to the doer.

    You are giving them power to accomplish the difficult task by exhibiting their best performance. And their best performance would come only if you empower them by ‘giving’ your energy, time and attention.

    (Let me give my) Regards,
    Utpal

  2. Hi Utpal – that’s a brilliant way to look at things. When you lead, you are giving others an opportunity to shine.

    When you give, you become an opportunity for others. So critical question can be – “For who all can you become an opportunity?”

    Thanks for all your support.

    Best,
    Tanmay

  3. Hi Tanmay,
    Excellent post. Helping others selflessly should give us the utmost satisfaction. I myself try to help others in the best way I can both personally and professionally and I have people around me who like/respect me for that (including a few members from your team :-)). But would surely like to mention that there also exists a big bunch of people who are too selfish and take your selfless acts for granted. I have experienced it a lot many times. Initially, I used to get irritated but now I feel pity on such people and try to forgive them as for me, its more important to move on.

  4. Hi Tanmay
    I agree with your thoughts.
    Also would state one more thing that in this materialistic world, one’s thoughs start from selfishness & end up here only; people are becoming more & more self centered.
    But even thinking for one’s own self & self growth, I would say that the best way to grow yourself is to share your knowledge, thoughts & skills with people around you. This approach will motivate you to learn more new things, gain more knowledge from circled people & you will shine more.
    It’s something to choose about. – Don’t become the frog of the tiny lake, rather become that flying bird with the whole with you…

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