Today is Blog Action Day. Bloggers from around the world are coming together to blog about a single topic. The topic this year is “The Power of We.” I think this is great, as I’m a big believer in the power of we.
In 2009 I participated in a writing project with my colleagues at the Creating WE Institute. We published a little career advice book called, 42 Rules for Creating WE. The rules were short essays that contained a lot of great career advice. I contributed three rules. One was called, “There is No Quid Pro Quo in WE.” I’m posting it here this Blog Action Day.
There is No Quid Pro Quo in WE
WE is built on relationships; the idea that we are all connected, and that through a WE-centric, rather than a traditional I-centric approach, our collective wisdom grows and evolves. This kind of thinking creates stronger organizations and societies. It fosters mutual shared respect for the unique contribution every person is capable of making.
Solid, lasting, mutually beneficial relationships are at the core of WE and life and career success. Giving with no expectation of return is a great way to create these types of relationships.
This is a quid pro quo world: you do for me and I’ll do for you. While there is nothing wrong in reciprocating a good deed or a favor, there is a fundamental problem with quid pro quo. It is reactive not proactive.
Too many people wait for others to go first. They adopt the attitude, “When and if you do for me, I’ll do for you.” This scarcity mentality is not conducive to creating WE, building strong relationships or creating your life and career success. When you come from a scarcity mentality, you focus on holding on to what you already have. This can prevent you from receiving what you might possibly get.
On the other hand, giving with no expectation of return comes from a proactive abundance mentality. When you give with no expectation of return, you are acknowledging the abundance of the universe. You are demonstrating faith that the good you do will benefit others close to you and the world at large – and that good things will come back to you.
Giving with no expectation of return is ironic. I have found that the more I give, the more I receive; often from unlikely sources. But that’s not my reason for giving – and I hope it is not yours. The best reason for giving is the basic joy of making a difference in other people’s lives and in creating a WE-centric world. Remember there is real power in we.
I love the Liberty Mutual Insurance “responsibility” ads. They are a very visual demonstration of the ideas behind creating WE – especially giving with no expectation of return. You’ve probably seen them.
They begin with someone going a little out of his or her way to do something that benefits others; picking up a piece of trash, opening a door for another person who’s hands are full. Another person observes this and goes out of his or her way for someone else. The cycle repeats several times during the ad. The message is clear. We are all better off when we help each other.
Deborah Brennan works for one of my corporate clients. She is an Environment Health and Safety professional. The other day, she shared a video with me that she produced for employees at her location that was derivative of the Liberty Mutual ads. It showed people acting safely – others watched and not only mimicked their behavior, they found other ways to incorporate safety into their daily work routine.
We all set an example for the people around us. It can be a positive, proactive, pay it forward example, or a negative, reactive, quid pro quo example. If you want to create the life and career success you deserve make sure you set a positive, proactive, pay it forward example.
Giving without expectation of return not only helps you create your career success and WE-centric cultures, it helps you build strong partnerships. Larry Agresto is a WE-centric guy. He says, “Truly successful people never compete, they network and leverage their relationships by providing value and giving more than they receive.”
In the end, giving with no expectation of return comes down to your mentality – scarcity or abundance. If you come from a scarcity mentality, you will live by quid pro quo, and perpetuate the I-centric status quo. If you come from an abundance mentality, you will give with no expectation of return and begin to create a WE-centric world and create the kind of strong, mutually beneficial relationships that will help you create the life and career success you want and deserve.
I choose abundance and paying it forward. I agree with Winston Churchill, who once said, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” When you give with no expectation of return you’ll get a good life and you’ll tap into the power of we. And you’ll get a better world; one in which we all look out for one another, and one in which your chances of creating the life and career success you deserve are great.
We really is a pwerful concept. I hope that you read this and other blogs this Blog Action Day so you can reap the advantages of a we centered life.
If you want to learn more about how to climb the corporate ladder faster check out the free rebroadcast of a webinar I did recently. You can find it at http://www.mycorporateclimb.com/squeeze_pages/13337-bud-bilanichs-corporate-career-success-webinar/