I often think of a fascinating New York Times Magazine article “Is Giving the Secret to Getting Ahead,” I read a few months ago.
“Giving as the Secret to Getting Ahead,” profiles Adam Grant, 31, the youngest tenured professor at Wharton Business School, and author of “Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success,” who studies and practices generosity as a way of life and work. (This eccentric post is a sort of précis of the brilliant article, chock-full of direct quotes. Back to regular programming soon)
“For Adam Grant, helping is not the enemy of productivity, a time-sapping diversion from the actual work at hand; it is the mother lode, the motivator that spurs increased productivity and creativity.
“The greatest untapped source of motivation, he argues, is a sense of service to others; focusing on the contribution of our work to other people’s lives has the potential to make us more productive than thinking about helping ourselves.”
“Grant sees an in-box filled with requests not a task to be dispensed with perfunctorily (or worse, avoided); it’s an opportunity to help people, and therefore it’s an opportunity to feel good about yourself and your work.”
“The message sounds terrific: Feel good about your work, and get more of it done, and bask in the appreciation of all the people you help along the way. Nice guys can finish first! ’’ [Read more…]