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March 14, 2019

We’re in the midst of tax season.  Therefore, you are likely cataloguing all you charitable donations.  We often think about giving in the context of established CSR programs, community engagement, or personal philanthropy.  But, giving beyond these traditional contexts offers so much more. 

Are you giving or getting?
While it seems antithetical to capitalist foundations for business, the book The Go Giver explores how  giving exceptional value produces extraordinary results.  It’s definitely worth the quick read, so I won’t spoil its core learning.  Yet, this concept is hardly unique or novel.   Indeed, as children, particularly around the holiday season, we are taught “it is better to give than to receive.” 

According to Adam Grant’s book, Give and Take, the secret to success is giving and helping others, not taking.  His research demonstrates that across industries, particularly those oriented with sales, individuals who reportedly focused on benefiting others not only gained favor and trust with clients and coworkers alike, but consistently outperformed their peers on all measures, including productivity. 

Therefore, it seems like a no brainer to shift our motivation from getting to giving. So why do we stop practicing the art of giving?

We give so much of ourselves to build our products and service offerings, but when they hit the market, we forget the purpose: to solve a problem or add value to the lives of others. 

Instead purpose become secondary to profit.  Though essential to effective operational growth, a preoccupation with balance sheets, projections, and valuations does not always yield the success we seek. In the process, we lose sight of the tangible and intangible benefits of giving our time, talents and forgoing a little of our treasure for a worthy cause— to achieve the satisfaction of our clients and colleagues. 

While utility is a relevant consideration in the purchase-don’t-purchase decision making process, trust and emotional connection rank higher.  Both are cultivate through the personal touch of giving extraordinary value.

So this week, let’s make it our collective challenge to enter our daily interactions from a place of give, not get.


Venture Cafe Miami

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