Rita has always prioritised investing in people around her. Even now as a senior executive in a demanding role, she finds the time in her busy schedule for the people around her. Sometimes it is with one of her team members or she may meet with colleagues in other parts of the business. Very often she spends time with people outside her own organisation. She invests by connecting people with mutual interests. She offers her insights for those seeking career advice. She frequently refers younger women and men to people in her network, if she believes that they may be a good fit for someone in her network.
Research by Adam Grant suggests that her willingness to invest in others may well be an important attribute that has accelerated her career. In his book, Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, Grant suggests that the ‘givers’ are driven by the desire to help others and create success for the wider group. On the other hand, the ‘takers’ are self-centred and focused only on what benefits they can get from others. He describes a group in between the givers and takers, the ‘matchers’, who strive for equal, fair exchanges with others. In his research, he found that it is the givers who achieve top positions because they focus on the greater good.
Rita invests in people at three different levels.
- Time – she prioritises her time to take an interest in people, to discover where they are at, their story and what drives them
- Value – she offers the value of her insights and experience to see how she can specifically help them, whether it is making connections, providing career advice or giving constructive performance feedback
- Reputation – she is not afraid to put her own reputation on the line by putting people’s names forward for opportunities and then backing them to succeed
Rita’s investment in people pays dividends for her in several ways. Her career has advanced because she is recognised for her concern for the greater good of the business and industry. She is the first to admit that it has also given her a greater sense of satisfaction and fulfilment, that would not be possible with a competitive, win at all costs attitude that exemplifies the taker mentality. Finally, she has created goodwill all over the place with the people who have been touched by her generosity.
Are you investing in people around you?
Best regards, Brian
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