21 March 2017

Are you a giver or a getter?

It is an interesting question and I suppose most of us would like to think we are givers. But what about in the workplace?

Almost 30 years in business has taught me that takers are rarely the people who experience sustained success. I have met some extraordinary business leaders and thinkers over the years and they all have a common trait: they’re supportive, they give back.

Supporting others is absolutely at the core of what we do at UKFast; it’s a key facet of our recruitment process. Every member of Team UKFast has what we call a ‘supportive gene’.

I watched a TED Talk by Adam Grant that reinforced our thinking on givers vs getters. Takers are self-serving, focussed on ‘what can you do for me?’ rather than ‘what can I do for you?’. You can see how that isn’t going to work well for service providers, or for salespeople. Both roles need to be centred on what you can provide for others and what they need; not what you need from the transaction.

In the talk, Adam explains that from his research, most people are in the middle – they’re matchers who believe in ‘I will do something for you, if you do something for me’. But the most successful people from his research are in fact the givers. Givers sacrifice themselves but make their organisations better through mentoring, supporting and genuinely caring for the customer  –  which of course affects the bottom line.

This message strongly correlates with a book that has long been one of my favourite reads; the Go-Giver by Bob Burg. Focussing on giving and supporting, rather than getting and taking, is what creates sustained success and happiness. The supportiveness and generosity is something we see in all of the great entrepreneurs and a personality trait that Richard Branson has in spades.

Ultimately it all comes down to goals. As the anecdote in Go-Giver says, setting wealth as a goal is not going to make you successful. It will motivate you to a certain point, but will it get you through the tough times? Will it continue to motivate you when you’ve hit £1 million turnover – where do you go from there? As a giver, could you motivate and inspire others to join your cause?

Watch Adam Grant’s TED Talk below:

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