Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Giving Does Not Mean Giving Up!

After my piece yesterday on ‘giving’, Matthew wrote his feedback on my Comments page. He decided to write his own thoughts about the concept of ‘giving’. I appreciate his honest sharing as we thrive on feedback, especially if it guides us to become better – like refining our swim strokes so as to swim efficiently and faster.

We can give without aforethought, lest it be misconstrued as reciprocity. If we expect something in return for every deed we do for somebody, then this may easily be perceived as ‘wanting something in return’. This suggests a ‘hidden agenda’ or ‘assisting with a purpose’. Sure, some believe in this principle, and marketers are exploiting it when they offer freebies. Robert B. Cialdini also expressed this principle in his landmark book.

Generosity is a personal value; it is the opposite of being selfish and holding on to things. Generous people derive pleasure from sharing, helping and giving – they gain when they surrender a small part of themselves. Thus, on this platform (blog) we tend to do active cross-sharing with other resources. We interview people of distinction, review books and films, provide commentaries, and share our perspectives (through Tweets, articles and stories). There is no one right answer to a problem; there might be several. By merging or crossing ideas, we may encourage cross-fertilisation or the emergence of a better, hybrid idea.
While watching the television program called ‘The Doctors’ this morning, I learnt a new acronym for keeping heart disease in check. Dr Vonda Wright, MD wrote in her book, Fitness After 40 her acronym FACE that stands for: Flexibility, Aerobics, Carry a Load/Core, and ‘E’ which you can find out on your own – or even construct your own. The reality is: if you give away everything, the perceived value can also diminish. FREE may be view with suspicion because we believe that it may conceal a ‘catch’. Some have articulated that ‘If it is too good to be true, then it is too good to be true!’ It is merely a caveat, however it is useful to be vigilant when it comes to financial transactions and potential business partnerships.

Leadership Lessons: Feel free to apply the learning on this blog. There are few things that compare with the joy of learning, and a sense of achievement. Do give deeper thought on how you can apply the notion of ‘giving’: Give back, give up, give out (project), give, and forgive. Just give!

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