Amy Rees Anderson

The Fastest Way to Achieve Success Is to First Help Others Succeed

Each day this week I decided I would share excerpts from the book I wrote titled “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel In Business & Life”. Today I’m going to share an excerpt from Chapter 7 of the book:

The Fastest Way To Success Is To First Help Others Succeed

Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, “What’s in it for me?” —Brian Tracy

Without a doubt, the fastest way to achieve success is to first help others succeed. Yet there seems to be a belief in the business world that the only way to get ahead is to only watch out for “number one.” That is simply not the case. The fact is that our greatest successes in life often come through helping others to succeed, and without question, when you focus on helping others succeed, your eventual payoff will always be far greater than your investment.

Here are five ways that everyone can help others to succeed, and in turn find greater success themselves:

1. Pay attention to the details of other people’s lives: When you make the effort to remember the important details of others’ lives, such as their spouse’s name, their children, their hobbies, and so on, your ability to be a positive impact in their life increases tremendously. It lets the other person know how important they are to you. It lets them know that you truly care about their life. The more a person knows that you genuinely care about them, the more they will, in turn, move heaven and earth to help you with the things you want. And with the contact tracking tools available on our electronic devices today, it is incredibly simple to make quick notes about people so that your memory is always fresh.

2. Help people connect by sharing your network with others: Be willing to introduce people to others you know who can help advance or forward their goals. When you have a networking event to attend, invite people to come with you who could benefit from expanding their network as well. The more you open up your network to others, the more you will find your own network expanding, and you might be amazed at the incredible contacts you end up receiving from the most unlikely people.

3. Inspiring a person is worth far more than motivating a person: You can motivate an employee with a raise or a fancy title, and for a time they will feel motivated to work harder to show their appreciation. But after a while, they begin to forget the additional money and the fancier title, because those have now become the “norm,” and you’ll find that once again they are back to needing added motivation to take their performance to the next level. On the other hand, if you inspire an employee by treating them with respect and frequently letting them know, in a sincere way, just how much you appreciate them and the contribution they are making, you will find that they are constantly motivated to increase their efforts. Inspiring others is the ultimate form of perpetual motivation.

4. Give honest feedback in a respectful and constructive way: This is one of the most difficult things for people to learn to do well. Many people don’t like confronting issues and would rather dance around them, while those who do like confrontation often aren’t respectful or constructive in the way they give feedback. But those who do learn the skill of giving honest and open feedback in a constructive and uplifting way can have a tremendous positive impact on the lives of others. One mental trick that has helped me with giving feedback is always making sure I am walking into the conversation with the mind-set of truly caring about the person and genuinely wanting to help them improve. If I go into the conversation with that motivation, then my words naturally come out better. The more you give feedback to help others improve, the more you will find that they in turn will open up to you and give you feedback that helps you improve as well.

5. Be willing to put the needs of others first, even when it means you have to overlook your own wants: Simon Sinek once said, “Marine leaders are expected to eat last because the true price of leadership is the willingness to place the needs of others above your own.” This particular point can be one of the most difficult things to actually do in the moment, because it feels so counterintuitive to put others’ needs above your own when doing so appears to require you to set aside your own desires. But as counterintuitive as it sounds, the fact is that it genuinely works—perhaps not instantly, but over time it leads to getting you everything you want and more. I can say this with absolute conviction, because I have seen it in my own life. The more I focused on helping my employees to personally succeed both in their professional and personal lives, the more my entire company succeeded—and as a result, I personally succeeded far more than I ever would have imagined.

“The more we serve our fellowmen in appropriate ways, the more substance there is to our souls. We become more significant individuals … Indeed, it is easier to “find” ourselves because there is so much more of us to find!” —Spencer W. Kimball

(end of excerpt)

Hope you enjoyed that. I’ll share another excerpt in tomorrow’s blog. If any of you would like to have a copy of the entire book you can order it here.

~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )

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What Awesome Looks Like: How to Excel in Business and Life
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