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Monthly Archives: January 2010

The Act of Giving

In the great book The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann, they present a case of a powerful business idea- the principle of giving back.

In April of 2009, our company outlined a commitment to give back a percentage of our revenues to those in need.  Since then, we have assisted many causes and organizations that bring relief to the suffering; not only in significant financial aid, but also in service.

What has happened since has not only healed the hearts and souls of those in need, it has greatly effected our hearts as well.  There has been established an increased sense of community in our organization, which I believe is a direct result of these commitments and practices.

In their book they summarize these points:

THE LAW OF VALUE

Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.

THE LAW OF COMPENSATION

Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.

THE LAW OF INFLUENCE

Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.

THE LAW OF AUTHENTICITY

The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.

THE LAW OF RECEPTIVITY

The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.

The principles of giving back are no doubt founded by universal laws and resident in the lives of those who live them.  I would like to simply say that for our little company, what we have learned in this endeavor has enlivened our souls, knit us closer together and humbled us in the process.

When we witness such challenges in the world as we have seen in “Haiti” and circumstances like unto it, how can we not feel a deep yearning to assist those who did not invite this tragedy to their lives?  But then for the grace of God, go we.  May we always be humble enough to recognize our duty and be found in the act of giving.

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Posted by on January 29, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Pink Fingernails

The other evening, I was paired with a 73 year old farmer as we went out to visit some folks one evening.  The elderly and shut-ins and others in need can always use a cheerful visit.  I didn’t know this gentleman too well, and while driving around the mountains to find someone’s place, I got to know him much better.  He is an amazing man, having built and sold several businesses, all without a formal education.

While we sat in one home visiting a retired couple, (who were down to their last three days of firewood due the extreme cold of this winter) I noticed my companions’ hands as they rested upon his lap.  He was wearing cowboy work boots, a western jacket and bolo tie, his giant hands stood out like a sore thumb.   They reminded me of my Dad’s hands, huge sausage fingers.  His hands could conceal a T-Bone, but there was something about his paws that caught my attention; though I dare not say a word.

After the visits, I drove this fine man back to his farm.  As he was getting out of my car, he looked back at me, his large hands clearly visible in the dome light and said “Aren’t you going to give me a hard time?”  I questioned back, “What do you mean?”  To which he replied, “Didn’t you notice my pink fingernails?”  “Yes,” I said, “but I didn’t dare say anything; I thought you might have a special sauce on them for a fungus or something and I didn’t want to draw attention to them… especially if you were sensitive about it.”  He told me that he allowed his young granddaughter to paint his fingernails pink that morning.   She had a new kit and wanted to practice.  He then got very serious, and said “You know, when I raised three daughters, I never let them paint my fingernails when they asked because I was too macho; but now I don’t care anymore.”  With that, he put a proud grin on his face.  He had been given crap all day by his friends, barber, and acquaintances.  That he didn’t care what people thought about a manly farmer wearing pink fingernails for a day, was evidentially a lesson that took him almost a lifetime to learn, and now he was proud to quietly share it with me.

I drove home that night, a much better man than when I woke up that day.  Another lesson about recognizing things that matter most.   A lesson to put aside macho and put on compassion; even if it means risking what other people will think.

I can’t wait to get to Hawaii and let my granddaughters paint my fingernails pink.  I will proudly wear them for a day.  If I stop by to see my professional associates, please understand, the lesson- my granddaughter’s joy means more to me than your opinion of my pink fingernails.

I give thanks to my farmer friend, for the powerful lesson, taught boldly (how can pink fingernails on a macho farmer be anything but bold) and yet quietly one cold winter night.

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2010 in Uncategorized