Succeed through the success of others

There is a widespread belief that the only way to get ahead is only to watch out for yourself.

That is simply not the case.

The fact is that our greatest accomplishments in life often come from helping others to succeed. When you focus on helping others achieve, your eventual payoff will always be far greater than your investment.

Here are three ways that everyone can help others be great, and, in turn, make a more significant impact on the world:

Put the needs of others first

This particular point can be intimidating. It feels counterintuitive to put others needs above your own. But as counterintuitive as it feels, it genuinely works. I can say this with absolute conviction because I have seen it in my life. I have found that the more I focus on helping my teammates in life (at work and in my home) the more I can accomplish.

A lot of people — nearly everybody I come across — marvels at the size of my family. “Six kids!? How in the world?!” is a question I come across at meeting someone new. It’s akin to how often Vince Gilligan gets asked about how it feels to be the creator of Breaking Bad. Putting the needs of others is one of the most important principles of leading a family (particularly of this size) successfully.

Give honest feedback in a constructive way

Constructive feedback is one of the most difficult things to do well. Most people rather dance around an issue than confront someone about it. And those who don’t mind (or even like) confrontation often time aren’t respectful in the way they give it. If you can learn the skill of giving honest and open feedback in a constructive and uplifting way, you will have a tremendous impact on improving the lives of others.

One thing that has helped me with giving good feedback is to walk into the conversation with the mindset of caring about the person and being sincere in wanting them to improve. If I go into the conversation with that motivation, then I communicate better.

Another bonus is the feedback you might get in return. The more constructive feedback you give, the more you will find that those you seek to improve open up to you and give you feedback as well. We all have blindspots. While it is tough to hear, we can only go so far without understanding and addressing our blindspots.

Share your network with others

Be willing to introduce all the people you know to each other. You will be surprised at the unique and unusual ways that people connect and help each other reach their goals. Don’t just limit it to those connections you think might work. Give serendipity a chance.

One way I’ve put this into overdrive is by attending networking events but always trying to have two people with me. They benefit from expanding their network. Between the three of us, we have good coverage. We can share the contacts we made with each other afterwards. But the key thing is that the more I’ve opened up my network to others, the more my network grows. I am amazed at the contacts I’ve made from the most unlikely sources.

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