Are You A Giver?

Published: September, 2005


Reading is fundamental. I remember hearing that as a child, but it took me until age 40 to understand the true meaning of that phrase. As preparation for my radio show, I’ve forced myself to actually read the books that my guests have written! What a concept!

My latest dose of positive mental nourishment came from an airport bookstore in Lexington, Ky. I was looking forward to finding a good self-help or business book to read while on the plane, but to my disappointment, all they had were romantic novels and fictional bestsellers.

I almost bought the “911 Commission Report,” but first asked the woman behind the desk why the non-fiction collection was so small. She walked over to the bookshelf, put her thumb and index finger on her chin, agreed and apologized.

But before long, she returned with the only business book she had in the store. “We just got these in!” she offered with enthusiasm, holding up her first copy of a thin hardbound book titled, “Mr. Shmooze – The Art and Science of Selling Through Relationships.”

I could tell from the jacket cover this book was based on the same philosophy that I had just read in Tom Rath’s “How Full is Your Bucket.” The book is about a character that is the life of the party. Everyone knows him and people are glad to see him arrive because he is skilled at making people feel good!

“Mr. Shmooze” fills buckets. After reading the 74 pages, I was disappointed to learn there is no real Mr. Shmooze. He is the creation of author Richard Abraham, but he is based on the characteristics of many people that Richard knows.

Check out and ask yourself this question: Am I like Mr. Shmooze? Do people feel better about themselves after they encounter me than they did before I arrived? Am I a giver or a taker?

People love Mr. Shmooze because he gives more than he takes. They trust him because he is passionate about their interests. And at the end of the day, they reward him handsomely for bringing joy, humor and wisdom into their lives.”

The Strength Coach’s assignment for the weekend: Think about how you can give more than you take, and in the process make people feel better because of your presence. Take note of how that impacts you, and e-mail me your