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I recently attended a several-days event for authors. The piece that stayed with me was an in-passing recommendation for the book The Go-Giver.

In my words, the authors’ premise is what we in service are/should be aiming for anyway: a trusting relationship that focuses exclusively on creating value for the other person—rather than convincing someone that ours is the correct product or service they need.

Remember the oldie but goodie movie Miracle on 34th Street? Macy’s does not have a sought-after item, so the salesperson does a quick check, determines Gimbels does, and refers the customer to Gimbels. With no expected reward or quid pro quo from Gimbels.

The goodwill that is generated lifts everyone—the customer, Macy’s for putting the customer’s needs first and Gimbels who makes a sale.

Six years ago, I hiked around the Isle of Anglesey, Wales, on their coastal walk. One afternoon I settled down with a cup of coffee, my back against the seawall and watched the tide come in. Slowly and surely the water reached the first boat in the cove. As more water flowed inward, the boat slowly rose from the muddy bottom. Then so too did the next boat and the next and the next until all were swimming freely.

Goodwill lifts everyone. Kindness lifts everyone. We can focus on creating value in the world around us and for the people around us. We can live generously—have you heard of the business owner who paid all her employees $75K regardless of their job?—and focus on creating value for others. You never know in what ways great value will come to you.

I’m reminded of the saying, “It is better to give than to receive.” I get it now. When we first give, we energize the circle and we will receive—and then we have even more to give, and to receive and around and around it goes. The cause is giving. The effect, receiving.

How is your business a Go-Giver? How are you?

PS I looked up the book on Amazon (I read mine through my local library) and discovered a Teacher’s Guide: a Curriculum for Making a Difference.

Here’s a link to the Go-Giver books (No, I receive nothing; I only want to pay it forward)

PPS The image is my Make a Difference poster from the 1990s.

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