Growing up in a household with an open door policy, where my parents would happily welcome individuals and families who were going through hardships into our home at all hours of the day or night, my brother and I witnessed firsthand the importance and power of helping others. I discuss it further in my second book, Giving for Growth, but many of the things my parents helped with had little to do with their professional jobs; it was more about having an open door, listening, and sharing time, love, and life advice.
I’ve noticed that many of my mentors have an open door policy, as well. They make it a special priority to help others and to share their time and wisdom with those who ask. Some, like Johnny Pitts, our Chief Manager at Lipscomb & Pitts Insurance, even set aside certain hours per week to mentor over lunch or allow people to schedule 15 to 30 minute meetings to seek advice. I’ve adopted this same idea and set aside time on my weekly calendar to help people who have questions, ranging from career topics to community building.
We talked about having the “gift” of initiative last week; and how seeing yourself as a community champion and “upstander” – someone who takes action to solve problems in our city – also will afford you the opportunity to grow personally and professionally. Similar to taking initiative, everything we’re talking about here, in terms of being there for someone else and helping – having an open door, listening and sharing your time and love – requires no money and zero professional talent. You don’t need a big house, a fancy title, lots of money, or really anything to make a difference in the lives of others!
It actually ties to the list of “10 things that require zero talent” that you can find all over social media.
The 10 things are:
1) Being on time; 2) Work ethic; 3) Effort; 4) Body Language; 5) Energy; 6) Attitude; 7) Passion; 8) Being Coachable; 9) Doing Extra; and 10) Being prepared. So much of our personal and professional success, as well as our ability to help others and make a difference in our community requires zero talent. It does require initiative, though. Take the initiative to have an open door and see what happens!