Where Leaders Come to Think

Blurring the Lines


Blurring the lines in business and life leads to living a much larger organizational story. At least that is what we thought at the time. My business partner John and I were attending the Building Champions Experience in Cle Elum, Washington.

The conference happened to be excellent, but it wouldn’t have mattered as we were on a mission. Our challenge this week was to create a company vision worth living for.

We have always had a vision, and it represented much of our core convictions about business. However, as we sipped a local vineyard’s Pinot Noir and talked we found that our vision was slightly outdated. It lacked the natural power needed to get us out of bed every morning inspired and passionate about leading others in business and life.

Sharing ideas we worked for hours honing a vision that would soon be introduced to our teams for needed direction and approval. Once our initial thoughts were on paper an idea popped into John’s head.

“I would like to illustrate how passionate we are about investing in others. Let’s give each leader on our team a bit of money and charge them to give it away randomly to a stranger.”

Brilliant, I thought, and then we could tie this example back to giving the best we have to offer every day at work. To ignite the passion to invest in others daily as we begin to live our vision.

I wish that I had time and space to share, all the moving stories told at our True Grit Leadership Summit 3 months later. Instead, I offer you the compelling lessons we learned as a team from walking through this experience while blurring the lines of business and life.

Lessons from Tiburon’s Giving Experiment 2011

  • Giving is harder to do in person but a lot more meaningful.
  • Being very intentional about giving is a thrilling experience. A life changer.
  • Sometimes, when you give freely, you find that people are not grateful or take it for granted. In some ways, it was incredibly difficult.
  • When you are intentional about giving, time and resources go extremely fast.
  • That as leaders we need to be more intentional about what goes on around us. A leader’s responsibility to others is to keep on looking and listening for ways to invest.
  • It can be extremely hard when faced with limitations like time and money to figure out who should receive your gifts. However, being hard is not an excuse for not giving.
  • That as a leader in the home we should all take the time to provide our family’s with more opportunities to give.
  • Giving of ourselves freely and abundantly is contagious.
  • When you have a heart to give, you see a world in need. Cherish your family and the opportunities we have.
  • Giving is emotional and thrust us out of our comfort zones!
  • Others watch a giving leader closely.
  • It’s difficult to be rejected when attempting to give a gift, but worth persevering. Also, if your given something take it and be grateful.
  • As leaders, we should notice people more and everything about them.
  • That we have been given a lot and should seriously try to give way-more every day.
  • Never, ever give up. To give we must be persistent because the world is stubborn.
  • Stop judging the world and allow God to inspire you to give something away every day.
  • Giving is a personal thing that should require no immediate payback or gratitude.

I wish you could have been there to hear our stories. They helped us to understand, in a tangible way, what our newly adopted vision statement truly means. Together we now understand that more than money our time, knowledge and skills can be gifted daily as we help other to thrive in business and life.

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