Monday, January 27, 2014

Give and Take ... giving has many returns

by Dale Shumaker

Give and Take
by Adam Grant is for those who want to make it in life and make their business work. It's about being a taker or a giver. In the past it seemed a person had to be a taker to advance his life and career. Adam Grant, in his book backed by extensive research, is finding the opposite. Those who are givers run past those who are takers in the long run. He says most people function as takers, matchers, or givers. Takers strive to get as much as they can from others. Matchers try to trade evenly. Givers are a new rare breed of people who contribute to others expecting nothing in return.

As he expands his givers theme into networking, collaborating, influence, negotiation, and leadership skills, he cautions a person to watch for those who look like givers, but really are takers.
Takers have a distinctive signature. They like to get more than what they give. They tilt reciprocity in their own favor, putting their own interests ahead of others. They believe the world is competitive, a dog-eat-dog place. They feel they must be better than anyone else, be self-promoting, and make sure they get plenty of credit for their efforts. Many think if they don't look out for themselves no one else will.

Givers give more than what they get
. Instead of using people to see what they can get from them like a taker, they are other focused... giving more attention to what other people need from them. Both givers and takes may give to charities, but the givers don't do it just to make themselves look good, but out of more genuine concern for a cause. Givers generally strive to be generous in sharing their time, energy, knowledge, skills, ideas and connections with others who can benefit from them.

Matchers operate on the premise of fairness. A matcher seeks reciprocity but that it's equal for all concerned. 

Takers favor wealth, power, pleasure and winning (doing better than others). Givers have their priorities as helpfulness, responsibility, social justice and compassion.

When takers build networks they try to build as much value for them. Givers try to expand the pie so everyone can get a larger slice.
When a person gives, it influences the whole group to want to be givers. It's a contagious attitude that ripples through the whole organization.

A leader's belief in someone becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy for the person. A study showed that when someone believes someone is gifted, talented or superior in a quality, the leaders show an affirming attitude to a person. The person then performs better in the area in which the leader believes he is good at.
Givers don't wait for signs of potential. Being trusting and optimistic, givers see potential in everyone.

Powerless communication is a trait of the giver
. In contrast, in many business venues it seems power communication is advocated, a favorite of the takers. Two fundamental paths to communication are dominance and prestige. When we establish dominance others see us as strong, powerful, authoritative. With prestige we earn the respect of others. Takers excel in creating dominance.

Whereas, the powerless style to the giver also has proven to establish prestige. Givers are more inclined to asking questions than offering answers, talking more tentatively than boldly, admitting weaknesses than displaying their strengths, seeking advice than imposing their views. In the long run, these forms of "powerless communication" prove to be powerful.

Takers use powerful speech being assertive and direct. Givers use more powerless speech... using hesitations as "well...." Hedges as " probably, sorta". Disclaimers as " this may not be a great idea..." Tags as " that's interesting, isn't it." Intensifiers as " really, quite." The givers style is more likely to build rapport and trust. By being more vulnerable, they bring more into their point of view. This makes them then more powerful as there is more authentic buy-in.

Givers who can maintain self-interest, while being selfless with others, maintain emotional balance and do not experience burn out. Meaningfulness is associated more with the giver than taker. With this in place people work harder, longer, smarter, and more effectively while feeling a sense of happiness.

A giver can be a door mat for takers, although givers show a greater judge of people and learn self preservation. Their finesse as givers eventually wins out as they can enlist more to their point of view because of building more trust and rapport with others. 

Grant has in-depth studies to back up his findings. It's a great book for those who appreciate exhaustive studies... that givers give. There's a lot more there, so see his website:

Jesus said give and it will be given to you
... and it would come back in much greater degrees that you give. It's a Spiritual principle that works everywhere, in about every situation. It's a natural law but also a Spiritual principle, which will do more than we can imagine.
We don't know how this works in Spirit. A small seed can yield a tree that has many pieces of fruit and all the pieces of fruit has many seeds in them. When we give in love, unselfishly, we see great returns in Spirit.

We all live for happiness. We get much satisfaction when we can give our gifts away. It is indeed more a blessing to give than receive. When we give we have an increased sense of well-being in what we do.

Be kind to everyone and give kindness to those who mistreat us. In the long run, even a greedy person is affected by someone's generosity. It can penetrate his heart. The heart is the most powerful force to change another person's heart, their attitude, their outlook on life.

What you give comes back many times in the same form
. You give money, more money comes to you. Give love and more love comes your way. Give friendship and you gain many friends. What you give comes back in a similar way in most cases.

So what you do, the Spiritual principle as explained by Jesus about giving, should not be done with great fanfare. It should be done quietly and discreetly. God knows what you give and He will reward you... either in the near-term, or the long-term, or in the forever. Giving always comes back in bigger ways and measures more than what we give. 

"Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full ...pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” Jesus said this in Luke 6:38.

What you sow you will reap to the level and degree you sow. Be a giver... it won't fail you.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big ... you must lose to win

by Dale Shumaker

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams is a string of experiences through his life which finally led to his Dilbert cartoon series. He doesn't claim to be a business building expert by any means, although he says a few things he learned along the way may benefit someone else.

 A few of his observations are
1. Goals are for losers, it's systems that make winners.
2. Your mind is a moist computer you can program.
3. The most important part is to track your personal energy.
4. Every skill you acquire doubles your odds of success.
5. Simplicity transforms ordinary into amazing.
Just to name a few. 

And then he goes more in detail in several areas and his view. 

Passion isn't all its cranked up to be. Your passion level moves with your success, so success increases passion more than passion causes success. Work toward increasing energy to get things done, more than following a passion which may lead you down the wrong road. The market rewards execution not ideas. Concentrate on ideas you can execute... then you will fail toward success. 

A person should have a system instead of a goal. In a system we continually look for better options. Goals disappoint and discourage us as most lack the experience of real world conditions. When we are consistent with a system we feel successful every time we keep the system in motion.  A system is something you do on a regular basis with a reasonable expectation that doing so will get you to a better place in your life. Most people who really succeed follow systems not goals. 

 If you want success figure out the price, then pay it. Focus on your energy. Have something in your life that makes you excited when you wake up. Simple systems are probably the best way to achieve success. Simplification frees up energy, and makes everything else much easier. Maximize personal energy, not the number of tasks

Smiling makes you feel better. Become good at a hobby and the value of being good laps over to other things you do. What's real to you is what you imagine and what you feel. Be a seeker of knowledge. You will find more stuff than those who sit and wait. 

Recognize your talents. What you were obsessed with before 10 years old, what has a strong connection between your interests and what you are good at, and you feel real comfortable doing, are indicators of your talents. Know when to quit. Things that start out well may someday work. Small successes can grow into big ones. If your work inspires some excitement, some action from customers, get ready to chew through some walls. You may have something worth fighting for. The hard part is figuring out what to practice. 

Manage your odds for success by adding skills. You're better off being good at two complementary skills than being excellent at one. Good plus good equals excellent. 

The math of success including being good at these personal skills.
Public speaking... take a speaking course.
Psychology... study human behavior.
Business writing... take a course, write a blog.
Accounting... learn the basics of how it works.
Design... be familiar with design principles.
Conversation... develop the skill to talk to anyone, anywhere.
Overcoming shyness... step forward, instead of stand back.
Second language... it's a great advantage today.
Golf... still the great place for business activity.
Proper grammar... know and use elements of basic grammar.
Persuasion... hang around good salesman and learn from them.
Technology... at least have hobby-level activity with it.
Proper voice technique... different tones for different things makes a difference.

Adams goes on to suggest to look for patterns of things that work, use humor when you can, and affirmations have their place. Make affirmations broad enough that there is room for some luck. 

Life is about being happy in what you do, doing what you want to do when you want. Eat right, exercise, get enough sleep, nap, do things you can steadily improve at, reduce daily decisions by using routines. And coffee is good when you need a boost. Remember failure is your friend. Invite it in. Learn from it. Don't let it leave until you pick its pocket.

More from Scott Adams at

He who loses His life will save it. (Matt. 16: 25)

The kingdom of God is like what a songwriter said,
"It's an inside, outside, upside down Kingdom;
where you lose to gain, and you die to live."
Misty Edwards

Jesus talked a great deal about losing your life on earth, so you will have eternal life in Heaven. He said there will be persecutions for those who want to live the right way. That even members of your own family will not like you anymore if you devote your life to the Kingdom of God. If you want to have life in the Spirit forever, you must give up your attachment to things of the earth. If you want live for acceptance in the Kingdom, you must love to the point that you allow others to use you. 

Then Jesus goes on to say, that you must drink my blood and eat my flesh. At that time many followers left Him. Drinking His blood and eating His flesh meant a total commitment to His Teachings and living with a willingness to die for what you believe in. He was a King who came to build an army, an army willing to die for the cause. All soldiers know they face death. They will have people shooting at them. Jesus said you will be targets of the world, because the world will not like you. And those who don't stand for righteous living will not like you.

As Francis Chan said, "if Jesus were your pastor you would probably not go to His church."  As you look at parts of Jesus' message, it is not something that would sell well in the world. To sell someone you must satisfy someone's want. Jesus' came to give life, and He showed the way. It was not what some may want while on earth.

So in the world's eyes, those successful in the Kingdom, may be looked on as failures in the earth. Jesus never established the Kingdom He talked about while on earth. He was killed, had his followers abandon Him, while He was strung up on a tree with very few wanting to be around Him any more as He died.

But He said in death is our victory. We, those in Him, will rise again, live again to become heirs of great fortunes in the Kingdom of Heaven. All in Jesus escape death to live forever with no more pain, suffering, being despised by those around them. All they lost on earth will be made up with the abundance of this new Kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven. People who survived the earth's scorn will have positions of leadership in the Heavenly Kingdom. The last will be first, the poor will be rich, the small and powerless will be big and strong.

As failure on earth teaches a person's lessons vital to doing well later on, we also learn from trials and challenges of earth to make us stronger in Spirit. Challenges on earth are our Spiritual fitness program for becoming strong in Spirit.