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The Law of Contribution: 7 Tips to Cultivate an Attitude of Growing Others

By Maxwell Leadership | April 15, 2013
The Law of Contribution: 7 Tips to Cultivate an Attitude of Growing Others

“Out of what I had received in my development, I was also able to give. The confidence I gained from personal growth gave me credibility and made me believe I could start developing others. And in that, I found life’s greatest joy and reward.” 1

Isn’t one of the most satisfying things seeing the success and growth of those you invested in at one point? John Maxwell explains in The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth that by growing yourself, you’re enabled to grow others.

However, even when you are generous with your knowledge and skill, you must be intentional in your efforts to add value to others. Positive qualities we possess can be multiplied when we cultivate an attitude of contribution.

Check out this list of 7 ways to develop a mind-set dedicated to growing others:

1. Be Grateful
“I am the recipient of many benefits that I do not deserve and did not earn. Someone else paid for them. I am grateful! How do I show my gratitude? By daily pouring into others and passing on to them the things that will allow them to run far and achieve beyond what I have done.” 2

Something we know and believe is that no one succeeds alone. It is our calling to pass along the development and influence we have received over our lifetime. In paying it forward, we can multiply our efforts, trusting that those we lead will also work to grow others.

2. Put People First
“People continue on. What you give to help others builds them up enough that they are able to give to others. It’s a cycle that can continue on long after you’re dead and gone.” 3

When you think of successes in your life, what do you remember? Likely you remember the people with whom you shared those wins. People are a huge part of our lives, and as leaders, our actions impact so many. By building our people up and putting them first, we show that they are valuable and worthy of great growth.

3. Don’t Let Stuff Own You
“Contributors take the stuff they own and use it as an asset to make this world a better place to live. And they do this regardless of how much or how little they have.” 4

So many people pride themselves in what they own. This doesn’t bring joy or benefit to anyone. Instead, we must let go of what we have and give it to others. Time, attention, money and resources – all can benefit others in great ways.

4. Don’t Let People Own You
“It’s hard to give yourself away when someone else owns you. I wanted to be able to value people with no strings attached.” 5

Although we consistently benefit from others, we can’t become indebted to them. When we are “owned” by others, we don’t have the chance to give what and when we want. Instead, we must aim to be on the giving side of every relationship.

5. Define Success as Sowing, Not Reaping
“If you live life with the intention of making a difference in others’ lives, your life will be full, not empty.” 6

So often people sow with the expectation of quick returns and are disappointed when that is not the case. Instead, we must sow and be prepared to wait for the harvest in due time. During that time, take a step back and recognize the immense impact you have on others. That is the true reason for living.

6. Focus on Self-Development, Not Self-Fulfillment
“Self-fulfillment means doing what I enjoy most and will receive the most strokes for doing, while self-development means doing what I am talented and uniquely fit to do, and that becomes my responsibility.” 7

By focusing on self-development, we ultimately show that growing ourselves allows us to grow others. Regardless of our situation, we can always grow ourselves. Take advantage of every opportunity for self-development.

7. Keep Growing to Keep Giving
“Whenever people stop actively learning and growing, the clock has started ticking down to a time they will no longer have anything left to give.” 8

We can’t hit plateaus and be complacent with where we are. We must play to win, rather than playing not to lose. Rising leaders want to learn from those who are leading themselves well. That leadership begins with intentional growth.

Overall, we must apply these 7 tips to our daily lives to pursue growth so that we may invest in others. Giving of ourselves leads to the most rewarding harvest: leaders who attribute their growth and success to our dedication to development.

Today, write down how you can be intentional with your growth. Which of these 7 tips must you commit to in order to contribute to others? We’d love to hear!

Share with us in the comments below, on Facebook or on Twitter using the hashtag #15Laws.

1 The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, pg. 243
2 The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, pg. 249
3 The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, pg. 249
4 The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, pg. 252
5 The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, pg. 253
6 The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, pg. 254
7 The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, pg. 255
8 The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, pg. 255

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