Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Value in serving others

I recently picked up an interesting little book called The Go-Giver. It is written in short story format, so it is a pretty fast read and well worth your time. If you like the concept of Servant Leadership, you will like this.

In it, the author identifies what he calls The Five Laws of Stratospheric Success. They are of course not “laws” at all, but I find them very appealing as principles for how we should conduct ourselves in business. The five “principles” are:

1. The Principle of Value: Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment. (For an example, see here)
2. The Principle of Compensation: Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.
3. The Principle of Influence: Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.
4. The Principle of Authenticity: The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.
5. The Principle of Receptivity: The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.

There is no real evidence that if we practiced these principles as a system our success would be guaranteed. There is no simple formula or recipe for success – sorry. But all of us have some set of underlying principles guiding our behavior, even if we have never made the effort to identify what they are.

If you are not satisfied with how you are operating right now, and you are willing to do something about it, give these principles a try. You might not make a million bucks when you put these into practice, but I have a hard time seeing how your relationships with others would not end up significantly more enriched.

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