Profiles of Giving | In-Between the Pages

What’s Your Profile? (Image: Shawn Ward, Red Bud Run Club)
Last week I left you with an idea of a book by Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree. What it could teach us about being a servant focused leader. How servant based leadership can help you meet the goals you want. As you give the best of yourself to others with out expecting anything in return you will reach yours.
Here’s the link if you’d like to read it before this one:
This week I wanted to take you a little deeper and share six profiles of giving. I will explore each of them a little. My hope by doing so would be to help you operationalize yourself to find an easier way to give. To help you create an immediate impact in others around you.
Here’s the six profiles:
  • Experts share knowledge.
  • Coaches teach skills.
  • Mentors give advice and guidance.
  • Connectors make introductions.
  • Extra-milers show up early, stay late, and volunteer for extra work.
  • Helpers provide hands-on task support and emotional support.
Beginning with experts they share their knowledge with as many people as they can. Pretty simple, if you want to be a expert in your field you have to share what you know. You get recognition for that. As you continue to build credibility you get labeled an expert in that work. It does you no good to keep that expertise to yourself. If you happen upon the need of others that you have expertise in, an expert that gives will share and become a great resource for others.
Coaches teach. A coach by their very definition is someone who trains or instructs. This is someone that sees how they can tutor and deliver very specialized attention to a need. Their help usually comes in the action of giving extra teaching than normal. Schooling or urging someone else with instruction to be greater than they are.
Mentors guide. They can get caught up in the same definition of coaches. Where mentors differ is they may not urge or come right out with the exact way to do a skill. Instead, they guide that person to make decisions on their own with how they want to get there. A mentor almost be definition is a expert and a coach rolled into one person. Mentors play a more detached role than a coach would. They give in the form of advising. They seem to play neutral in the way they play with teams.
A connector excels in bringing teams of people that have similar skills together. They are great at connecting what would take two people on their own a lot longer. They give themselves by spending their energy bringing people together. By bringing them in concert with one another. A great connector example is a conductor of a symphony. Connectors are adept in social settings. They are actively looking for ways to bring people together all the time.
Extra-milers are givers of their time and energy. They are there when everyone else has stopped cheering others on. They give great role modeling and expertise around perseverance. They are incredible at getting through their road blocks. They also give great examples to us about focus and pace. They teach us and show us what finishing a project to its end can yield.
Our last profile, helpers, teaches us about what The Giving Tree means. They are the example we walked through last week in the support and emotional needs of teams. They don’t spectate, they give themselves. They give the right amount of support right at the right time we need it. They are always there for us.
Give. Think what your work would be like if any one of these profiles were consistent in your life. Now, imagine what they could be in someone else’s life. Be that person. You will find the best fulfillment you’ve been looking for. You will find it in work you can do for others. You will find no equal to that work. Be prepared, it’s hard work.
Thanks for reading. Talk to you on the weekend.

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