“Every time we interact with another person, we have a choice to make: do we try to claim as much value as we can, or contribute value without worrying about what we receive in return?” This is a question straight from Adam Grant’s book “Give and Take” and it should really make you do some soul searching…but soul-searching only happens when you’re a giver.
In social media, I have experience with every example Adam gives in his book when defining givers, takers and of course I can’t forget about the matchers. So what do all those terms mean? In a nutshell, givers are those folks who give away their time, talent and resources to help others with zero expectation of anything in return. Takers, you got – it’s all about them; all the time. And matchers, they are keeping score (“You scratch my back, I scratch yours”).
And I know, that you know every. single. one. of. these. people. #CanIGetAWitness?
As I was going through the book, I was trying to evaluate myself as objectively as I could and found lots of flawed areas where I could improve. Initially, this bothered me but proved I was human and the best part? There is always time to improve. What was also disturbing was realizing how many takers and matchers I spend time with in my personal and professional life. Like I said, this book will drive a lot of soul-searching.
Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn (a/k/a one of my man crushes) is a huge believer in giving because it’s the right thing to do. He’s been quoted several times as saying, “It seems counterintuitive, but the more altruistic your attitude, the more benefits you will gain from the relationship. If you set out to help others, you will rapidly reinforce your own reputation and expand your universe of possibilities.” Well, who doesn’t want a big fat cup of THAT?
So how does all this apply to advisors?
I know LOTS of financial professionals who are true givers. Many advisors enter this profession and go out of their way to help others. That might come in the form of offering pro-bono planning work through a church or charity. Some advisors may sit on boards of non-profits and help provide guidance on charitable donations they receive. I know I enjoy working with local high schools to speak to kids about financial planning and social media awareness as they prepare to go to college or get a job. The list is endless, but I see a lot of giving going on and it totally warms my heart.
The idea of seeing more people helping other people is what drives me each day. Receiving great counsel in the book in reminders like always be willing to share your knowledge, offer advice and make introductions should be a common practice for everyone. Adam also talks about the Five Minute Favor (you should be willing to do something that will take you five minutes or less for anybody).
My challenge for you is to go out into the world and be a Red Hot Chili Pepper. Give it away, give it away, give it away NOW!
Be bigger, better and more BIONIC today!
Sheryl Brown / @BIONICsocialite