“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” ― Winston Churchill
In another blog, I wrote about Why Asking for Help Makes You A Stronger Leader.
A week ago, I met a lady who did just that and received an unexpected response.
This senior executive who recently relocated to our city, attended an event with other senior level professionals. When she anxiously asked for support – guidance on other connections, networking events, groups – she received blank faces and complete silence. No one at the table offered to help and just sat there.
I was shocked and disappointed to hear this. We both paused and shared a moment of bewilderment.
I started to wonder…what could be holding these individuals back from helping a fellow Leader?
Here are some possible thoughts:
Thought 1: I can’t help you. I don’t have all the information you are asking for.
Thought 2: I don’t have time. It takes time and effort to connect and share information.
Thought 3: I don’t know you so why would I connect you with my network and share information?
Thought 4: If I connect you or share information, what will you do with it? What’s your intention?
Thought 5: If I connect you and share information, there’s a chance you may be unreliable and not show up.
From this perspective, these thoughts or fear-based beliefs are common and even conceivable. We’ve all had our share of experiences connecting people that did not go so well. We also have a reputation to uphold that we must protect. I get it.
Leading and living with this mindset is like wearing an armor. At first, you feel safe in it. It’s there to protect you and you feel stronger wearing the armor. Eventually, as time goes by, the armor becomes heavier and heavier. You don’t have the strength or freedom that you had when you first wore the shield. Now, the armor has become more of a distraction that is literally weighing you down.
I share this analogy because we only have two ways to live and lead our lives.
We can come from a place of:
Lack or ABUNDANCE
Fear or LOVE
Negative or POSITIVE
Reactive or PROACTIVE
Limitation or CREATION
We can just wait for things to happen or we can co-create it for ourselves.
As Leaders, we must lead by example and give back to others. When you give without any expectations, you will receive so much more than the receiver.
Now let’s look at what is possible when you openly trust and help another human being…when you are leading from your heart.
- You are opening doors. You are creating opportunity for that individual.
- You are building a new connection. You are growing your circle of friends and professional contacts.
- You are learning something new about yourself. When you meet new people, you naturally learn something about yourself through their stories.
- You experience happiness and gratitude. When you support another individual, you will feel good physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
The Dalai Lama recently posted this on Facebook:
“Right from the moment of our birth, we are under the care and kindness of our parents. Later, when we are sick and old, we are again dependent on the kindness of others. Since we are so dependent on others at the beginning and end of our lives, how could it be that we would neglect kindness towards others in the middle?”
In my 40 years, I have yet to experience pain or discomfort from helping another person. I actually go out of my way to help others even when I don’t know them.
I believe we were all born to love and support each other, and when we openly give support, we are stronger.
The world is my village.
Who can you offer support to – open more doors, make new connections, learn something new about yourself in order to experience more happiness and gratitude?