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Sunday, 11 October 2020 22:33

Kindness, There's Nothing Random About It - UpCloseTeam Featured

The Secret to Strong Teams - UpCloseTeam The Secret to Strong Teams - UpCloseTeam

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In challenging times like the ones we're in, people who act unselfishly stand out as emblems of hope for all of us. They inspire us to keep trying and they soothe worries about the unknown ahead. They remind us that as long as we're good to each other, we can get through anything.

There's a wonderful website called randomactsofcanadian.com. The website serves a singular purpose—to shine a spotlight on people all over our country who continue to be kind and generous. In times of need, these people see what is lacking and they offer whatever help they can provide.

The Law of Sacrifice

The website calls these offerings "random acts of kindness", but I wonder how random they really are. It takes effort to be kind. Unselfish acts often take more work, and require not just your personal effort, but the effort of others. John Maxwell calls this The Law of Sacrifice and it's one of "The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership" for good reason. In moments that are difficult, people do not act because it is easy. They act because it is needed.

When the pandemic started, Nourish Cowichan responded quickly. For several years, they'd been supplying nutritious food to school children from a small restaurant kitchen. But they didn't have the facilities or the people to meet the logistical challenges caused by school closures, not to mention the dire need caused by the pandemic. So what did they do? They put word out and people throughout the area offered their support. Unselfish acts inspire more unselfish acts. Soon they had expanded facilities and more volunteers, so they could deliver weekly food hampers to nearly 500 families.

food drive

Some acts of kindness are more personal, but no less inspiring than those which bring together a community. Ryan Langille from Lemington, Ontario was undeterred by these challenging times. When he was asked to donate stem cells, he did what was required including the usual blood work and a COVID test. Then he spent seven and half hours attached to a machine which extracted stem cells. He will never know who received the donation because that information is confidential, but he knows he did something good.

Leaders in difficult times

Leaders are often called to sacrifice more than others. People who are brave enough to live this way naturally draw others to support their important work. We've all benefited from the planned acts of kindness in our world. We know being generous is good for all of us.

How can we nurture unselfish thinking in a world that is sometimes preoccupied with the exact opposite? In "How Successful People Think", John Maxwell offers 5 powerful strategies:

  1. Put others first. When Ryan Langille agreed to undergo a medical procedure, he was thinking only of the person whose life he might save. As Normal Vincent Peele wrote, "People with humility don't think less of themselves; they just think of themselves less."
  2. Expose yourself to situations where people have needs. Ryan was a regular blood donor. That's how he found out about stem cell donation and offered to be a donor. The most caring people in our world do not turn away from suffering. When they see someone in need, they look for ways to help.
  3. Give quietly. Nourish Cowichan discovered which families were in need and they delivered the food hampers, but they could only do this because of the collective effort of the community. Many of the most generous people in our world make large contributions without expecting any acknowledgement at all.
  4. Invest in people intentionally. Nourish Cowichan would not have been able to pull together the facilities and people they needed to deliver more food hampers if others were not willing to invest in them. Their initiative was made possible by many people who purposely chose to invest. When people lead with sacrifice, their effort inspires others.
  5. Continually check your motives. We all have tendencies towards self-preservation and we all hunger for success. An unselfish act comes from a purer place. You'll know it when you do it, and the big difference between a seemingly generous act that is actually self-serving and one which is truly kind is the focus of attention. If you're thinking of others, your motives are good.

Call to Action:

  1. Leaders who follow the Law of Sacrifice trade something of value to do something more important. The first part of sacrifice is asking yourself what you have of value. This pertains not only to you personally, but to the organization where you work. List what you and your organization has of value to offer the world.
  2. Now take what you have listed and look for ways to help. One way you can do this is to put yourself into situations where people have needs. Encourage others within your organization to join you.

"Remember, there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end." -- Scott Adam, Dilbert Creator and Author

Thinking of bringing together your team for a mastermind on the The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership? As a Certified Executive Director of The John Maxwell Team, Colette Close can help you. Let's talk.

The best is yet to come. It starts with you!
Your friends,



Last modified on Saturday, 17 October 2020 22:45

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