Want to get Richer? Then Give More Away

What? Giving money away makes you richer? That can’t be right, it seems a little counter-intuitive doesn’t it? That’s what Syracuse University economics professor Arthur C. Brooks used to think. Then he did some digging. After years of research he found that those who donate their time and money (and blood, believe it or not) earn more money as a direct result of their charitable giving. He found this to be true across every income level and country.  But don’t take my word for it, read his own compelling (if not life-changing) words by clicking here.

The above link is talk that Brooks gave in 2009 at BYU. This talk resonated deeply with me when I read it. It articulates exactly what I want to do and become – both personally and professionally. He says that “acts of charity-giving money, serving others, even donating blood-create a remarkable return, lifting us spiritually and financially.” If that’s not the creed of “enlightened leadership” and stamping out corruption then I don’t know what is!

Scriptural Support:
This sounds like a direct fulfillment of Malachi 3:10 that says, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”

In other words, the more you give the more you get. Thank you Dr. Brooks for helping us to prove the usefulness of biblical principles in business and leadership!

Comments: Has this ever happened to you? Why does giving make you richer?


Tired of Chasing Dollars? There’s a Better Way

Happy Test Week* everyone!

Leadership Principle
Have you ever thought, “I like business but I hate how everything revolves around money?” That’s exactly what I thought when I started my college education as a business major. That was even the line of thinking I used when I switched majors from business to biology (pre-med actually). I had only taken two business courses (accounting and economics) and I came to the conclusion that all of business revolved around money, money, money! I was wrong of course. I would learn later that business involves strategy, creativity, inspiration, caring, values, and many other topics that peak my interest.

The following link is a “Ted Talk” by one of my favorite guys, Simon Sinek. He is the author of Start with Why which is currently my favorite book. Listen to this talk (click on the link below) and you will gain profound insights into the passion and inspiration side of business and leadership. Learn how you can finally stop “chasing dollars” and focus on what you really care about. (Spoil Alert: Count how many times he says “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.)

Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action

Scriptural Support
Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

*Test week is a popular phrase in med school that roughly translates into “a very stressful and important exam is coming up, the preparation for which will require 150% of my time (yes, that’s right, there is absolutely no way possible to ever be fully prepared)”

Anyway, during test weeks I will probably keep my posts brief and to the point. They may, in fact, prove to be more interesting and effective that way 🙂

What’s Your Why?

Business Principle

I’m currently reading the book Start with Why by Simon Sinek and LOVING it (which means there will probably be a whole bunch of future posts on it.) I have a love/hate relationship with those “duh I should have known that” moments, and this book is providing me with plenty of them. Sinek has it spot on when it comes to inspiring leadership, company culture, effective marketing and incredible long-term success. He dissects the successes of Apple and Southwest Airlines, so if you love those companies (and who doesn’t) then you will love this book.

Senek illustrates the power of starting with “why” by using examples like Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King Jr. and the Wright Brothers. They were all excellent at communicating their “why” and that lead to their inspiring success. They had a cause, a belief, and a passion that attracted like-minded people to join them. Advancing that cause was more important than anything, including turning a profit (which almost always follows as a result). Decisions were made based on the “why” and not based on ROI or earnings per share.

Scriptural Support

There’s another great example of someone who started with “why” and created a movement. He is an influential leader from the Bible who taught this same principle – Jesus. His cause was well articulated and he always made it His first priority. In fact, He put it ahead of His own personal comfort and safety. His message resonated with people and he gained a tremendous following. In Mathew 6:33 he teaches the principle like this: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” In other words, when you put your “why” first everything else (profits, ROI, etc.) will fall into place. Anytime we follow the Savior’s example we can’t go wrong.

Comments: What do you think? Do you know of any other inspirational leaders that start with “why?” What happens to the culture of a company with a deep cause like this?

Closed on Sundays

So I was driving from Dallas to Lubbock the other day and it just so happened to be on a Sunday. I’m a huge fan of Chick-Fil-A (a recent conversion) so I really wanted to find one and have some lunch. I found the nearest one in Abilene, TX and drove about 30 minutes out of the way (partly because I got lost) just to get a chicken sandwich. I was pretty surprised to find the parking lot completely empty until I saw a big sign that said “Closed on Sunday.” I’m ashamed to say that my first reaction to this was not positive, but after some reflection I decided that Chick-Fil-A is even COOLER than I initially thought. That’s pretty a gutsy move for a national restaurant to close its doors on Sunday. It flies in the face of logic, but I believe that Chick-Fil-A is better off because of that decision.

The Bible says in Exodus 20:8-11:

8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates.

11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Individuals who choose to follow this commandment have a great advantage. They have more opportunities for family togetherness and weekend worship that their counterparts don’t have. These are essential ingredients for a successful career and a happy life.

Business owners that choose to close their doors on the Sabbath also yield great rewards. They have an opportunity to publicly display that following commandments are more important than extra profit. This attracts customers and employees who share your values and are very passionate about them. You will gain loyal customers and employees and create a lifelong referral base. Look at Chick-Fil-A and Hobby Lobby. These companies have rabid followers and are growing year after year after year. They’re doing great in spite of being closed on Sundays (or is it BECAUSE they are closed on Sundays?)

Comments: What do you think? Agree/Disagree? Can you think of any other examples of businesses that benefit from being closed on Sundays?