Back in 2008 I submitted my first book proposal to my, now, publisher. They rejected it. The title of my first book proposal was called, The Give Get Principle. I wanted to teach readers that there are two types of people…givers and getters. And there is a choice. Those that choose to give of themselves and those that choose to take from others. My publisher told me there was not enough depth to the subject matter.
Five years later, in 2013, my friend Adam Grant came out with his groundbreaking book, Give and Take. Adam, an award-winning researcher and Wharton’s highest rated professor, examined the surprising forces that shape why some people rise to the top of the success ladder while others sink to the bottom. For generations we have focused on the individual drivers of success: passion, hard work, talent and tenacity. But in today’s dramatically reconfigured world, success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others. Adam taught his readers that there are givers and there are takers. And givers rise to the top of the success ladder faster and more frequently than takers.
Give and Take…one of the best leadership books, in my humble opinion, in the last twenty-five years.
But back to my 2008 book proposal. Adam proved to the publishing world that this subject matter does have depth. I believe that the givers and getters subject not only has depth, but I believe it is a gamechanger. The choice, that is, is a gamechanger. The choice of six words.
There are two types of people. Two types of leaders. Two types of spouses. Two types of parents. Two types of students. Two-types of salespeople. Two types of surfer dudes…you get the point.
Those that choose the six words…What Can I Do to Help?
And those that choose these six words…What Can I Get from You?
The six words you choose will be the deciding factor to not only the success you have, but more importantly, the influence you can have on others.
Six words. What Can I Do to Help? Or the six other words. What Can I Get from You?
Every decision. Every business opportunity. Every relationship. They will all have different outcomes by the six words you choose to live by.
Think about it. Think about all the relationships in your life. Not just your family and friends. But your insurance agent, your banker, your accountant, your co-workers, your electrician, etc. Which ones are givers? And which ones are getters?
I have a friend in Denver named Scott Bemis. He used to be the publisher for the Denver Business Journal. I met Scott seventeen years ago when I was honored to receive the Denver Business Journal’s 40 under 40 Award. I’ve never met another human being that is more of a giver. Every minute of his life is about giving. Giving to his wife. His children. His friends. His co-workers. His clients. His community. And you know what? Out of all my friends… Scott has the happiest life and the happiest wife. Seriously, he and Pat have a marriage that all of us would envy. Scott’s children, friends, co-workers, clients and entire Denver community all love and adore him.
Can you guess what six words Scott chooses to live by?
I know of another guy in Denver. A business man and political wanna-be. He lives by the other six words. Every decision. Every business opportunity. Every relationship…he puts himself first. He puts his own interests first. A tried and true “getter”. And you know what? His marriage has fallen apart. His clients are all transactional. And his staff and so-called friends see through his shallow heart.
When you live a life of a taker – when you lead with a “getters” heart – when your six words are what can I get from you…you may get rich. You may build a fortune. You may make it to the top of the success ladder. But you will never change the world or make a significant impact on the lives of others…or truly be happy.
Most people are self-proclaimed givers. But if I got your spouse to take a lie detector test, interviewed privately your kids, teammates, customers and clients – what would they really say? What six words would they use to describe you. I think she is a giver? Or…I think he is a getter. The answers will humble most of us. But we can change that right now…by choosing to live, lead and love with six of the most meaningful words…what can I do for you!