Without a doubt, the fastest way to achieve success is to first help others succeed. Yet, there seems to be a belief in the business world that the only way to get ahead is to only watch out for ‘number one’. That is simply not the case. Brian Tracy explained it best when he said, "Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, 'What's in it for me?'" The fact is that our greatest successes in life often come through helping others to succeed, and without question, when you focus on helping others succeed your eventual payoff will always be far greater than your investment.
Here are five ways that everyone can help others to succeed, and in turn find greater success themselves:
Pay attention to the details of other people’s lives.
When you make the effort to remember the important details of others’ lives, such as their spouse’s name, their children, their hobbies, etc. your ability to be a positive impact in their life increases tremendously. It lets the other person know how important they are to you. It lets them know that you truly care about their life. The more a person knows that you genuinely care about them, the more they will in turn move heaven and earth to help you with the things you want. And with the contact tracking tools available on our electronic devices today, it is incredibly simple to make quick notes about people so your memory can always be fresh.
Help people connect by sharing your network with others.
Be willing to introduce people to others you know who can help advance or forward their goals. When you have a networking event to attend, invite people to come with you that could benefit from expanding their network as well. The more you open up your network to others, the more you will find your own network expanding, and you might just be amazed at the incredible contacts you end up receiving from the most unlikely people.
Inspiring a person is worth far more than motivating a person.
You can motivate an employee with a raise, or a fancy title, and for a period of time they will feel motivated to work harder to show their appreciation. But after a little time passes they begin to forget the additional money and the fancier title because those have now become the “norm” and you’ll find that, once again, they are back to needing added motivation to take their performance to the next level. On the other hand if you inspire an employee by treating them with respect and frequently letting them know, in a sincere way, just how much you appreciate them and the contribution they are making, you will find that they are constantly motivated to continually increase their efforts on an ongoing basis. Inspiring others is the ultimate form of perpetual motivation.
Give honest feedback in a respectful and constructive way.
This is one of the most difficult things for people to learn to do well. Many people don’t like confronting issues and would rather dance around them, while those who do like confrontation often aren’t respectful or constructive in the way they give it. But those who can learn the skill of giving honest and open feedback in a constructive and uplifting way can have a tremendous impact on improving the lives of others. One trick that has helped me with giving good feedback is to always make sure that I am walking into the conversation with the mindset of truly caring about this person and wanting to genuinely help them to improve. If I go into the conversation with that motivation then my words naturally come out better. The more you give feedback to helps others improve, the more you will find that they will, in turn, open up to you and give you feedback that helps you to improve as well.
You have to be willing to put the needs of others first, even when it means you have to overlook your own wants.
“Marine leaders are expected to eat last because the true price of leadership is the willingness to place the needs of others above your own.” –Simon Sinek.
This particular point can be one of the most intimidating things to actually do because in the moment it feels so counterintuitive to put others needs above your own when doing so appears to require you to set aside your own desires. But as counterintuitive as it sounds, the fact is that it genuinely works. Perhaps not instantly, but over time it eventually leads to getting you everything you want and more. I can say this with absolute conviction because I have seen it in my own life. As a CEO I found that the more I focused on helping my employees to personally succeed both in their professional and personal lives, the more my entire company succeeded - and as a result, I personally succeeded far more than I ever would have imagined.
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