How Relevant to You Is “Service to Others”?

How Relevant to You Is “Service to Others”?

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It has been over three years since I decided to quit the corporate world as an employee and start a second career on my own, helping businesses grow and employees succeed at work and in their personal lives.

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From the several lessons and experiences gathered throughout my 27 years in the corporate world, the one that I am leveraging the most in my new career is to think more and more about “what’s in it for others” instead of “what’s in it for me.” I will focus this newsletter on that topic, as I consider service crucial for every person in the workforce. I will share with you several of the insights that have worked for me over the years. Some of them may work for you as well.

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  1. I constantly search for wisdom on service. Here are a few sources: \n
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    1. The Bible: There are numerous examples of servant leadership in both the old and new testaments, from Abraham to Moses to Jesus. Don’t underestimate the lessons that can be learned from these and other proven servant leaders in the Bible.
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    3. Books: Three that I want to highlight are:\n
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      1. The Fred Factor, by Mark Sanborn, the true story of Fred, a mail carrier who passionately loves his job and who constantly goes the extra mile handling the mail.
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      3. The Servant, by James Hunter, where service stands out as one of the key foundations for leadership.
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      5. Give and Take, by Adam Grant, where the author shares several successful examples of businesspeople who act more as “givers” versus “matchers” or “takers.”
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    5. My Dad: Although he passed away more than four years ago, he continues to inspire me with the memories I have of how he served people from all walks of life, and did so without expecting anything in return.\n
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  3. Service is a key element of my personal mission statement. If you share my belief of the importance of service and haven’t yet included it in your mission statement, consider adding it now. In particular, I have increased the importance of service in the following two roles:I remind myself every day of service. I recently read a piece of advice from the writer and speaker Robin Sharma that called my attention. It went like this: “There is food on the table thanks to the customers I am privileged to serve.” I read this line every day, to remind me of the importance of service. In fact, if you haven’t yet developed the habit of reading your personal mission statement first thing in the morning, consider doing so. It takes only a minute or two, and it can energize you to work toward your life priorities. \n
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    1. Professional: Consider applying the marketing 101 principle of first identifying the unmet needs of the customer, and then sell a product or service that fulfills it better than your competitors.
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    3. Community/Social/Relationships: Do more listening (with our ears and our hearts) versus talking.\n
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  5. I want to close this newsletter with a quote from the great inspirational author Og Mandino: “Extend to each person, no matter how trivial the contact, all the care and kindness and understanding and love that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” As you embark on this journey, count on me to help you succeed.
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In the next newsletter, I will share suggestions on how to assess our life performance through the first semester of 2014. Stay tuned!

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Percy M. Cannon\nAuthor, Business Consultant and Professional Coach\n www.cannonbalance.com

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PS1: Use this link to ask questions, post comments, and request topics you would like to see in future issues.\nPS2: Use this link to subscribe to future newsletter issues or review previous ones.\n PS3: Use this link if you want to buy my book, The Business Apostolate, Insights to Define and Achieve your Mission in Life with a special discount for newsletter readers. Just enter code UN2WS547.

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