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"Love is the act of intelligently and sensibly sharing your knowledge, networks, and compassion with your business partners."
-Tim Sanders, Chief Solutions Officer, Yahoo
Yahoo senior executive, Tim Sanders, published a book on Valentine's Day titled “Love Is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends”. In his book he explains that the road to prosperity is paved with a commitment to GENEROSITY.
ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE
He believes that what the business world needs is less greed and more love. "When you help others grow to become the best people that they can be, you are being loving -- and as a result, you grow. The most powerful force in business is love. It's what will help your company grow and become stronger. It's what will propel your career forward. It's what will give you a sense of meaning and SATISFACTION in your work." Sanders believes there are three critical drivers of professional success. He calls them the "three elemental PARTICLES of love in business." They are knowledge, networks, and compassion.
We must learn as much as we can as quickly as we can and then aggressively SHARE that knowledge with others. Sanders says "that means taking the power of ideas seriously, reading books voraciously, and developing a system of organizing what you've learned. To be an impact player in business, you simply have to know more than most other people know." One of the tremendous benefits of sharing your knowledge with others is that they will be eager to give you helpful FEEDBACK in return. "They'll tell you which ideas worked out well and which didn't work out so well. They'll tell you which contacts were helpful and which weren't. They'll keep talking to you. And you'll keep learning from them. It's a loop."
Our knowledge does not hold much value if we don't have a network of people to share it with. Sanders encourages us to expand our network of people who share our values, and to CONNECT as many of them with each other as possible. Success is based on the people we know. Everyone in our contact database is a potential PARTNER for everyone we meet. The value of our network is in our willingness to share it. The purpose of collecting contacts is to give them away … to match them with other contacts. Sanders notes that those who appear insignificant today "may be stars waiting to rise. Someday, they may become key nodes in your network -- and create a huge opportunity for you. And they will remember that it was you who was on their side before everyone else was."
Most important, Sanders says, is to "be as openly human as you can be and find the courage to express genuine EMOTION in the harried, pressure-filled world of work." We should behave this way, not because we expect something in return, but because it's the right way to behave. Sanders notes that "the less you EXPECT in return for acts of professional generosity, the more you will receive." Your success is a direct result of their success. Lennon and McCartney said it better than anyone else: "In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."
A NEW WAY OF SELLING
What Sanders has to say resonates with some teleconference discussions I recently participated in. The course, called Authentic Promotion, was offered by my coaching colleague and friend Molly Gordon. I must admit that I entered into this experience dragging both feet. You see, I've never particularly enjoyed MARKETING -- a necessary part of being in business for oneself. But when I saw the title "Authentic Promotion," I was drawn to it.
Authentic promotion is about leading an authentic life of meaning and purpose, which ultimately creates the desire and ability to make a larger CONTRIBUTION to this world. Authentic promotion becomes an extension of offering to others the gifts that you have been given. Nothing can top the deeply satisfying experience of using our own unique gifts to improve the world in some meaningful way. Authentic promotion -- matching your ability to serve with someone else's NEEDS -- becomes an act of love as you offer your gifts, solutions, and talents to others. Wow! This way of thinking has certainly put a different spin on "marketing" for me.
WHEN GIVING BECOMES A LIFESTYLE
When you create a bigger vision for your life work, you make a conscious choice to think BEYOND yourself. You become less concerned with individual gain and more concerned about how others will benefit. This does not mean that your own needs don't matter. Quite the contrary! SELF-CARE becomes vital so that your giving comes from a pure place, without attachment to what you'll get in return.
WHERE DO YOU FIND MEANING?
I recently came across a website for The Giraffe Project www.giraffe.org -- a nonprofit organization that moves people to stick their necks out for the common good. John Graham, executive director, notes that "people who operate with meaning in their lives don't find that meaning in their activities or their positions or their possessions. They draw it forth from THEMSELVES and put it into their activities, not the other way around. And the meaning they draw forth always seems to come from committing to ideals greater than themselves and their own needs. It is this COMMITMENT that generates the enthusiasm, passion and power found in people who lead meaningful lives."
MY AUTHENTIC PROMOTION PLAN
As I write this, the United States nears our Independence Day celebration on July 4th -- and I feel grateful that I have the freedom to CHOOSE my life work…and that the work I have chosen is meaningful to me. I recently wrote down my VALUES as they relate to my own authentic promotion plan. Here are the questions I asked myself, followed by my responses:
CREATING YOUR OWN PLAN
Are you living an authentic life in what you do for your life work? Write down your response to these questions to help you connect with your values and your vision.
Kathy Paauw is an organizing and productivity consultant, certified professional and personal coach, and speaker. Visit her website at www.orgcoach.net or contact her at .
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