The Power to Be a Giver

My parents taught me that a good book can make a huge difference in people’s thinking for bad or for good. When you read a book which allows you to think deeply and to step back for a moment, when it drives you to certain conclusion or reflexion for yourself; that’s what I considering a good book, and from my own perspective; it’s a book you should revisit several times in your life to see what you learned from it.

I have the pleasure to read several books of this kind; books that people primary call “life-changing” texts. I could give some examples:

  • Big Data Marketing from Lisa Arthur (Teradata’s Apps CMO)
  • Rich Father, Poor Father from Robert Kiyosaki
  • Personal MBA from Josh Kaufman
  • I Will Teach To Be Rich from Ramit Sethi
  • Built to Last from Jim Collins and Jerry Porras
  • REWORK from Jason Fried
  • The 4 Steps to Epiphany from steve blank
  • Display of Power from Daymond John

All these books have shaped me as better professional and as a better person. But, there is one particular book who changed how I approach anything right now, not matter if is a personal issue, or if is a professional one; this text blow my curious mind the first time I have it in front of me.

The book is: “Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success” from Wharton Professor Adam Grant. This book has changed profoundly the way I interact with people, family, work colleagues, friends,etc; because the message inside its pages is so good that its one of the books I revisit almost every weekend.

But, I won’t do a review of the book, but I will talk about its effects over myself, and how I made better relationships, just applying the principles behind it:

“BE A GIVER”

Let me dig on this first. Prof. Adam Grant said on the book:

GIVE AND TAKE presents the fascinating secrets to givers’ success. The results are unequivocal: givers gain big. Jack Welch, Richard Branson, Jon Huntsman Sr. — all of them are givers. In a world in which so many takers such as Bernard Madoff and Raj Rajaratnam have ruined lives and reputations, this book will reassure readers that the real power lies in becoming a giver. Since the vast majority of people aren’t born givers, Grant not only presents the case for why givers win, he also offers their hidden strategies for winning.

But you must be thinking about where is the catch here, so I will give you 2 examples how I put in practice everyday being a “Giver” with 2 different teams: Drift and Inbound.org.

Drift´s Product Marketing community

This new company has made a name by themselves giving to the concept of Product Marketing a lot of faces to look, and a lot of good content to 
read, dig, share and more.

So, even before to make profits, they have given a lot of amazing resources about Product Marketing, including building a community focused on these topics. So, they have been “Givers” since the same start

So, trying to be a giver too, I’ve become in a passionated advocate for the Product Marketing community at Twitter (#ProdMktg), spreading the word about it, and inviting to seasoned Product Marketing/Product Management professionals to share their experience with all folks inside the community.

Some of the folks I´ve invited to join to the community are:

  • Meg Diaz, Senior Product Marketing Manager at OpenDNS (Cisco)

How this has worked for me?

The amazing team at Drift sent me a very good package with a T-shirt, some stickers and a great hand-written note from Amanda Tessier, one of the incredible people behind their Marketing team

Drift´s package

But, this package, although it´s important for me; the best thing I´ve gained is the quality of the connections and relationships I made in the past 4 months as an user of the #ProdMktg community.

For me as a professional, this matters a lot, because thanks to these new connections, I´ve written new posts in my blog here, I´ve a new job as Product Manager (stay tuned for the post about this), I´ve built a lot of credibility with the Drift´s team, specially with David Cancel and Elias Torres, two of the folks I´ve personally admired for their achievements in the tech space.

To Being a Giver has showed me that when you are give knowledge, time, and more without any expectations, you will feel you have a superpower; because I´ve done all these things thinking precisely on that; and for my surprise the results have been more than incredible.

Inbound.org: The Inbound Marketing community

This community has grown to more than 150K Marketing professionals all working together to help others with their issues. Some have talked about how to work as an new Marketing agency, some have learned how to Reduce Churn, others have used the platform to promote their own products.

I just started in this community the last months, and many asked me how I gained 1000 Karma points in a time so short. The secret is very simple:

Yes, that’s the secret: Be extremely helpful to the folks of the community

When I try to answer a question there, I work hard to make my best. Simple but a powerful way to be a Giver. Some of the questions I’ve answered are very diverse, so I always do the same: Do a research before to ask, and it seems that this strategy has paid off, because many of the answers has obtained a lot of upvotes:

What Inbound.org community has given to me

They have provided me mainly knowledge and challenge at the same time. Knowledge because when I have a question about Marketing, this is always the first place to ask, and challenge because when I have to answer a question , I have to study, make a little research about it to do a good work, and that simple process increase my knowledge everyday.

Conclusions

For me it’s simple:

  • Read Adam Grant book
  • Become in a instant Giver after read it
  • Share what you learned, obtained, whose you helped here and let me a response about it.

BTW, Adam wrote another book called Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World”. I’ve not had the pleasure to read it, but I’m working hard to obtain a copy. You can find it here:

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