It is my strong point of view that one of the best ways to create professional progress is with a purposeful strategy of giving back.
Now, I’m sure you are all thinking about examples that disprove that statement, but lets be honest, if you were a counter example, someone who could ignore others and still get ahead, you wouldn’t be reading my leadership development blog.
You would be on your private jet or something.
I stumbled on this point of view accidentally. It’s not like I didn’t care about giving back before, I just didn’t see the relationship to professional progress.
I began my deliberate practice of giving back in 2010, when I needed something meaningful to focus on and I wanted to find a new way to think about progress. At the time I didn’t understand what I actually learning, I just knew I was heading in the right direction.
Since then I have observed some interesting things about giving back and mentoring others
- Focusing on others helps me find joy even when things are hard. In fact, giving to others is its own kind of bonus.
- Giving back not only impacts those who are directly involved, but also helps build broader and deeper networks, authentically.
- Giving back helps me avoid burnout because it gives me a more realistic definition of success.
- It can make you feel good about yourself, and when you feel better, you do better.
- It sends a signal to others that you are a high achiever and a star performer
- It makes you more confident to ask others for help you need.
- It can give you energy, which will give you more productivity.
Essentially a purposeful strategy of giving back is a way to make your own luck. And who doesn’t need more luck? Probably those guys on the private jet…