Published on: Friday, July 16, 2010
Do Good Without the Thought of Payback
A couple of weeks ago I posted a few thoughts on some of the "learnings" senior executives in transition or those just looking to make a change could take from coach John Wooden, which for lack of something more creative I called: Job Search Success Wooden Style
. Based on some of the sports news that has happened since then, I hope someone sends a copy of Wooden on Leadership
to the latest addition to the roster of the Miami Heat
, but that's another story.
The real reason I bring up the post again is due to a comment that came in from Martin Yate
, the well-known and respected author of the Knock 'Em Dead
series that has covered the subject of effective job search from start to finish for many years.
Because of the dynamic nature of the Executive Insider
I was afraid that Martin's comment would be lost to many who come to the site as the post was now "old news" in terms of cyber time.
The other reason I wanted to make sure his comment got some additional daylight is because if you are anything like me, you can hear or read something from one source and "get it" without it staying with you in a meaningful way. Hear or read something on the same topic from another source, and this time you really GET IT. I think the way Martin expressed the philosophy we have espoused at ExecuNet since the day we started some 22 years ago stated the thoughts in a way that was different than I had seen in a while and was well worth sharing with anyone who finds themselves out there looking for executive jobs and was wondering if there might be a different way of moving forward.
Here's how Martin put it:"As Dave noted, one of Wooden's aphorisms concerned doing good without thought of the payback.
It's the right thing to do by all ethical and religious standards, and doing something good for others on a daily basis is also a matter of what I like to think of as enlightened self-interest.
If I can help you without hurting myself I should do so, I must do so. It is good for my conscience, there is real joy in helping another and all feel-good fuzzies aside, when I help you, I increase both my credibility and visibility, and that is in my best interests.
During a job search, everyone feels just as you deep inside. Practical gestures now, when we are all swimming in the deep end of the ocean, are the infinitely more valuable than the mere gesture itself.
When you consistently try to help the people you meet during a job search, you become a sphere of influence, and your network expands. Networks thrive on give-and-take, and the giving is so easy to do:
- Do something with those job postings that are almost but not quite right for you. Save and offer them to people for whom they might be perfect.
- Feed yourself information you can use. Limit mass media intake and instead feed your mind and your spirit with the practical tools and the motivation to get you from here in the deep blue sea to over there, sitting in the sand with a big fat grin and a piña colada.
- Face facts. You are in a job search; they happen about every four years, but everything has changed since last time, and nothing makes sense. Stop taking short cuts 'cause there aren't any, and learn to do it properly this time. Example: your resume is the most financially important document you will ever own, yet what have you really done to educate yourself, to get one that delivers?
- Commit to at least understanding the essentials of career management; you might learn something to help you avoid this happening again. Feed yourself the heavy ammunition, and when you read something or you hear something powerful, you pass it on.
Do good for yourself in these ways every day, then pass on what you find to someone else; good will come back to you. At ExecuNet you have a wealth of tools and support, but perhaps your most valuable and uplifting resources are your peers and colleagues, the other members...help each other, use each other.
Make difference today; smile when you talk on the phone; kick a**; take names and leave the footprints of a person who cares. It's enlightened self-interest."
"...footprints of a person who cares." Great stuff! Thanks, Martin.
Dave Opton founded ExecuNet in 1988 to provide a trusted environment where senior-level executives could build career opportunities by facilitating connections to other executives, experts and key market insights. Dave has drawn upon his 35 years of experience in human resources to develop and grow what has become the leading business and career membership network for executives and senior managers. A widely recognized executive career management expert, Dave is regularly quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Business Week, Fortune, Fast Company, and other leading business publications. Mr. Opton received his BA from Indiana University.