Lately we’ve looked at placing other peoples’ interests first and how, far from being self-sacrificial, it’s actually the key to building successful business and personal relationships.
So, it was very cool to come across the following quote from one of my heroes, High Point University President, Dr. Nido Qubein:
“People who invariably put themselves first will find that others tend to put them last.”
True, isn’t it? The more we focus on ourselves the less others focus on us. The more we focus on others, the more they focus on us. In his classic, The Science of Getting Rich, Wallace D. Wattles touched on this as the natural principle that “action and reaction are always equal and in opposite directions.”
As you place your focus on the interests of others and constantly ask yourself how you can add value to them (again, this includes business and personal relationships) you’ll find they tend to do the same. Or, in today’s lingo, “right back at ya’!” 😉
The question some will have, however, is, “but what if they don’t? What if they’re just the ‘selfish’ type who cares only about themselves?”
Sometimes, it doesn’t matter. If, for whatever reason, the benefits of the relationship (business or personal) are worth it to you, then no need to change anything. Just be aware and watch your back. So long as both parties benefit, carry on.
Or, depending upon the unique circumstances and the type of relationship, you have choices including, but not limited to:
- Continue to focus on them believing that they are simply in the growth process. You can gently and tactfully coach them along, as well. Some will get it and grow into it.
- Immediately remove yourself from their life and influence. You don’t need to be mean or nasty about it or even verbalize it. What if circumstances dictate you’re not being able to sever all ties. That’s okay. Stay classy. Always treat them with respect. However, you won’t be emotionally involved in the relationship.
Most people though will indeed respond as you set the frame.
To paraphrase Dr. Qubein, put them first and they’ll tend to put you first.
Life is good.
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Absolutely so true, and such a great reminder. Love “The Science of Getting Rich,” by Wallace D. Wattles
Carly: Thank you. So glad you enjoyed it. And, yes, that is one of my favorite books of all-time!
Great article and so very true.
I’ve been a huge fan of yours since I first read The Go Giver and I’ve always believed in helping others first.
As Zig Ziglar put it “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
I’m reading Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi and he talks about helping those who might be able to help you. He says before we should ever ask them for any help or guidance we should find at least five ways we can help them. I love that.
I’ll be looking for different ways to help you over the coming months Bob.
Thanks for all you do. You rock!
Dickie: Thank you for your kind feedback! Yes, Zig’s saying is one of my all-time favorites, indeed! And, glad you’re enjoying Keith’s bestselling book! You already are helping, Dickie, just by being a great guy!
Bob, great reminder here! As a leader, you have to stay the course of putting other people’s interest first. There are times when you will be pushed and the advice above is sound, give them time or cut your losses – you will know when. The formula of success is centered around putting others first and for those that get what you are doing, it will be an amazing relationship. For the others, the limit on their own abilities are self-placed. Thanks!
Gary: Thank you. Greatly appreciate your feedback, thoughts and wisdom. You’re so right on the mark. And, a huge shoutout of CONGRATULATIONS to you upon being named CEO of Johnson Health Center. Well-deserved, my friend…well-deserved! They are in great hands!!
Great wisdom there Bob, thanks for sharing this with us. I don’t always put others first, though I do try to.
I often ask people if they need help, they don’t always accept.
here’s another wisdom quote: if you want to go fast – go slow.
Thought provoking. Thanks!
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Peter: Thank you for your feedback. I think it’s very natural to want put our own interests first. And, of course, placing others’ interests first should never harm us. And, no they don’t always accept, and that’s okay, too. Yes, I like the go fast – go slow quote. Profound! Thanks again, Peter!