During the holiday season, we are often in a giving and generous mood. We say we are in the "Holiday Spirit." Imagine a world where that spirit of generosity continues all year long.
Adam Grant, in his book : "Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success" discusses many of the benefits of being a Giver. According to Grant (the youngest tenured Wharton Professor), we generally fall into one of three categories: Giver, Taker, or Matcher.
Takers feel no shame in taking what they can get with no obligation to give or help others in return.
Matchers live to be fair - you help me and I'll help you...to the same extent.
Givers tend to give because they can, with no ulterior motive.
To give without the expectation of anything in return feels good and puts a positive energy into the world. One of the most interesting examples of this is Adam Rifkin. In 2011, Rifkin was named as Fortune's Most Connected Man based on his LinkedIn connections to the 640 most powerful people on Fortune's lists.
How did he do it?
Rifkin, an entrepreneur, had a habit of giving. Through small acts of kindness and generosity, he developed a network of people who connected him to others. These connections resulted in investments in his businesses by venture capitalists. He, in turn, continued to advise others and connect people in his ever-expanding network.
Most people would agree that it simply feels good to help someone. Reading Grant's book heightened my awareness and made me want to strive to be more of a Giver.
During this holiday season, and as the new year approaches, maybe we can all re-focus our efforts to give a little more with no expectations in return?