I discovered Adam Grant’s book Give and Take, after I was backstabbed by a friend. For him, our decade-long friendship was worthless compared to the “success” he achieved through backstabbing me for my job. Because I enjoyed giving and helping others, I was an easy target when faced with a “taker” such as my ex-friend. From that painful experience, I knew I needed protection against exploitation and burnout, common risks for being a giver. I needed to arm myself with Adam Grant’s data-driven ways to win as a giver.
As I continue my journey as a social entrepreneur, I am awed by how much we need a culture of giving to build collaborations, connections, and trust. As a non-profit, our main currency is gratitude, and for inspiration and ideas on building a giving culture, this time I turned to Adam Grant’s TED Talk.
In the 13-minute TED Talk, Adam Grant covers many useful tactical tips, and the one tip I am practicing is the “five-minute favor.” According to Adam Rifkin: "You don't have to be Mother Teresa or Gandhi to be a giver. You just have to find small ways to add large value to other people's lives." Being on the receiving end of giving is also a way for givers to protect ourselves against burnout.
As we approach this holiday season, I ask all of you to do a five-minute favor for Jezuba and me. Please shop at Jezuba for your holiday gifts, repost our blogs, retweet our tweets, like our Instagram posts, tell your friends about Jezuba, and if your company has a matching donation, please donate to Jezuba. Remember Giving Tuesday is December 3rd. In the next month, we will be sharing with you new collaborations with artists and other non-profits, and your act of giving will have compounded positive impacts.
I will close with a quote from Adam Grant: “If we can weed takers out of organizations, if we can make it safe to ask for help, if we can protect givers from burnout and make it OK for them to be ambitious in pursuing their own goals as well as trying to help other people, we can actually change the way that people define success. Instead of saying it's all about winning a competition, people will realize success is really more about contribution.”
Co-founder and Director, Jezuba
Photo Credit: Evan Kirby