Another philosophical foundation of our Theory of Positive Leadership is constructed on the axiom “it is better to give than to receive.”
Man is a social animal. Human beings have advanced to our current level of achievement because we have developed a sophisticated system of groups and organizations to facilitate the safety and prosperity of increasingly larger populations. From the first time man elected to pool his resources with that of others, to the very present, the success of the group has been contingent upon the willingness of the individual members to give of themselves, even if it means foregoing the immediate gratification of their own wants and needs. Similarly, nothing so threatens the group as the existence of individuals who choose, first, to serve their own self-interests.
One of the things that distinguish powerful positive leaders is the zeal with which they give of themselves to their organization and its people. These men and women understand that their own success is measured by the success of their people and their organization. Positive leaders work not only to advance the skills and accomplishments of individuals but also to create the synergies that occur when individuals come together as part of effective teams. They understand that, in effective organizations, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Zig Ziglar said it most eloquently:
“You can get everything you want and need out of life if you help enough other people get what they want and need.”
If you are a giving person and you strive everyday to help the people around you be successful, then you will be perceived as a leader and you will have captured the essence of success.
The gift of success is something that anyone can give and once you give it, remarkably, you also possess it, in full measure. Giving does not necessarily have to be of material things. It may be giving of one’s time and energy or of one’s talent. It may be doing one’s absolute best on the job or volunteering for a community project.
The world needs givers and lots of them. Be a giver and it will make a difference in the way you feel about yourself and about your life. It will make a difference in the quality of the relationships you have with your spouse, your children, and your friends. It will make a difference in the wholesomeness of your community. It will make a difference in the success of your business or career and, finally, it will make a difference for you financially.
Yes, there is an inherent risk in giving of oneself. There will be disappointments. Some people will let us down and others will even hurt us. These things are inevitable in life and will occur whether we give or take. True success and the most cherished joys in life come, however, only to those who give freely.
If you want a better marriage, give of yourself and be a better spouse. If you want better friends, give of yourself and be a better friend. If you want a more successful career, give of yourself and do a better job. If you want to be a part of a better organization or live in a better community, give of yourself and be a positive leader.
Giving fully of one’s self – holding nothing back – is, very simply, the key to success in life! It is magical, miraculous, simple, and relatively painless. “It is better to give than receive” is not just the secret of positive leadership it is a prescription for a democratic society.