Do nice guys finish last?
Hmm… have often wondered about this. I am known for assisting others especially those who ask for a RT on Twitter or I often give a bit extra to clients by way of time or Tweets etc. I often give great ideas to clients and to fellow SMEs or start ups so they usually go away armed with a ‘To Do’ list and a bit of enthusiasm too! I like to do this. And I don’t expect anything in return….or do I? I think that if you help someone out, the key is to NOT expect anything in return….but then it actually comes back to you in some other bizarre way! (Am sure you have stories like this)
On my journey into business I have come to the conclusion that there are 3 types of people.
GIVERS: Givers are those who go out of their way to help others either by mentoring, sharing their insights, or lending a hand when possible without seeking anything in return. I see a lot of LEADERS with these qualities. But it’s all about getting the balance right. Givers will quickly realise who the takers are and make sure that they select carefully those they wish to assist. They will also remember those who take mostly and you can be assured that this is learned very quickly. It could be something as simple as asking to share a blog post or if they give some assistance or share knowledge the ‘Taker’ is almost always never in touch again once they get what they want.
Givers can rapidly burnout in large organizations. Their desire to help others causes them to take on more than their normal responsibilities. Or they go unnoticed because of their reticence to accept recognition for their accomplishments. Rarely will a Giver want recognition anyway so sometimes they go unnoticed in big organizations. The Taker is much more likely to shout when they do something amazing.
TAKERS: Takers are people who when working with others try to get as much out of the relationship for their own personal benefit and give back as little as they can in return. In their view, this is the quickest way to success. They will jump in when any topic relates to them and they will only talk to people who they think can benefit them in some way. I think we all know some like this! I tend to avoid these kind of people and keep well away. So how do they succeed? Are they actually doing themselves or their business any favours? It seems to me that takers show a lot on the outside that might make them LOOK successful but they are usually more suited to large corporations than small business owners. The bigger the company the less likely it is to be noticed that you aren’t pulling your weight or working together as part of a team.
MATCHERS: Representing the majority of us, this group fall somewhere in the middle. The matcher is happy to grant favours for a favour. They are also more likely to support a GIVER as they don’t like to see Takers succeed. (As usually the ‘Taker’ is too busy climbing over the Matchers to succeed)!
I have always been adamant that I am not going to change my down to earth personality no matter how successful I become. I strive to do the right things and help others out as I’ve been there before. Hadn’t money for coal or clothes for the kids. Had to search in the pennies jar for money to give the teen for her lunches. So even if I succeed in getting to a place where I no longer have to search in the pennies jar, can pay my debts and bills and am happy with what I am doing in life, I will never climb over another to achieve success. I am always happy to assist if someone genuinely is stuck and needs help. And I won’t change for anyone to ‘fit in’ with the crowd.
Which one are you?
Check out Adam Grant’s book, Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success