“Over the years I’ve learned that investing in other people’s success doesn’t just make them more likely to enjoy working with me, it also improves my own chances of survival and success”
Chris Hadfield, Astronaut
I am often asked ‘What can I do to do be generous? What practical step can I take?’
Giving money is always great, and I talk often about that.
But there are other ways too. Things that we can do which can be incredible gifts to those around us, just by the way we turn up or listen or give space to someone. At the same time, they can have amazing, unintended consequences that give something back to us.
One way to do this is to help someone else succeed.
This is an act of generosity because it costs us something. We choose to give it away to someone else, something that is so precious and finite: our time.
It takes time to train, teach and mentor someone else, to intentionally invest in them and see how you can help them become who they want to become. It can be taxing to bring brutal honesty and constructive criticism, even if the person is willing to hear it. Over time, it is for their benefit as they become a better person.
A better person becomes a better employee, a greater contributor, a better boss and a more involved community member.
So, helping someone else succeed improves their own personal ability, but it also makes their team better, their organisation, city, and world better. Which is also your world, which directly impacts you, making your environment better and ultimately creates a better version of you. Helping others succeed makes you better at whatever you are doing.