Create Your Career Success by Being Kind — Reach Out to Others

I send a career success quote to my subscribers every day.  If you would like to begin receiving these quotes, go to and enter your name and email address just below the image of Succcess Tweets.  It’s that easy.  Yesterday, the quote was from Lao Tzu, the Chinese philosopher…

“Kindness in words creates confidence.  Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”

This quote reminded me of an article I read in last Sunday’s New York Times Jobs section called “Building a Bridge to a Lonely Colleague.”  In part it said, “Loneliness reduces an employee’s productivity…because it results in increased hostility, negativity, depressed mood, increased anxiety, lack of perceived control and decreased cooperativeness.”  Wow!  That’s the bad news.

According to the artilce, the good news is “helping a colleague our of loneliness may involve such simple steps as taking time for a chat, asking for input on a project, or offering an invitation to coffee or lunch.”  In other words, being kind can help both you and a lonely colleague.  These are great ideas.  They can help you create meaningful relationships with people at work who you might overlook at first.

Tweet 127 in my career advice book Success Tweets says, “Pay it forward.  Build relationships by giving with no expectation of return.  Give of yourself to build strong relationships.”  Engaging colleagues who are isolated or may seem lonely is one way to pay it forward.

This tweet reminds me of an inspirational movie I sent to my subscribers a while back.  It’s called the 100-0 principle.  The principle is simple.  The best way to build solid relationships is to take 100% responsibility for them.

In 2009 I participated in a writing project with my colleagues at the Creating WE Institute.  We published a little book called, 42 Rules for Creating WE. The rules were short essays that contained a lot of great career advice.  I contributed three rules.  One was called, “There is No Quid Pro Quo in WE.”  This rule goes directly to the idea of paying it forward described in Tweet 127.  I’d like to share the career advice in this essay – with a few minor edits – with you here.

WE is built on relationships; the idea that we are all connected, and that through a WE-centric, rather than a traditional I-centric approach, our collective wisdom grows and evolves.  This kind of thinking creates stronger organizations and societies.  It fosters mutual shared respect for the unique contribution every person is capable of making.  Solid, lasting, mutually beneficial relationships are at the core of WE.  Giving with no expectation of return is a great way to create these types of relationships.

This is a quid pro quo world: you do for me and I’ll do for you.  While there is nothing wrong in reciprocating a good deed or a favor, there is a fundamental problem with quid pro quo.  It is reactive not proactive.  Too many people wait for others to go first.  They adopt the attitude, “When and if you do for me, I’ll do for you.”  This scarcity mentality is not conducive to creating WE, or building strong relationships.  When you come from a scarcity mentality, you focus on holding on to what you already have.  This can prevent you from receiving what you might possibly get.

On the other hand, giving with no expectation of return comes from a proactive abundance mentality.  When you give with no expectation of return, you are acknowledging the abundance of the universe.  You are demonstrating faith that the good you do will benefit others close to you and the world at large – and that good things will come back to you.

Giving with no expectation of return is ironic.  I have found that the more I give, the more I receive; often from unlikely sources.  But that’s not my reason for giving – and I hope it is not yours.  The best reason for giving is the basic joy of making a difference in other people’s lives and in creating a WE-centric world.

I love the Liberty Mutual Insurance “responsibility” ads.  They are a very visual demonstration of the ideas behind creating WE – especially giving with no expectation of return.  You’ve probably seen them.

They begin with someone going a little out of his or her way to do something that benefits others; picking up a piece of trash, opening a door for another person who’s hands are full.  Another person observes this and goes out of his or her way for someone else.  The cycle repeats several times during the ad.  The message is clear.  We are all better off when we help each other.

In the end, giving with no expectation of return comes down to your mentality – scarcity or abundance.  If you come from a scarcity mentality, you will live by quid pro quo, and perpetuate the I-centric status quo.  If you come from an abundance mentality, you will give with no expectation of return and begin to create a WE-centric world and create the kind of strong, mutually beneficial relationships that will help you create the life and career success you want and deserve.

I choose abundance and paying it forward.  I agree with Winston Churchill, who once said, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”  When you give with no expectation of return you will get a good life.  You’ll also get a better world; one in which we all look out for one another.

The career success coach point here is simple common sense.  Successful people are adept at building strong relationships.  They understand and use the career advice in Tweet 127 in Success Tweets.  “Pay it forward.  Build relationships by giving with no expectation of return.  Give of yourself to build strong relationships.”  Reaching out to lonely or isolated colleagues is one way of paying it forward — and is the opposite of quid pro quo.  When you go first – reach out to someone or give of yourself to help someone else, with no expectations of return – you are laying the foundation for a successful relationship.  When you wait for people to reach out to you, or to reciprocate a good deed by another person, you are engaging in quid pro quo behavior that usually results in lost relationship opportunities.  Do yourself a favor, follow this career advice when it comes to relationship building – pay it forward.  You’ll be helping yourself – and others around you.

That’s my career advice on building a bridge to a lonely colleague.  What do you think?  Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment.  As always, thanks for reading my daily musings on life and career success.  I value you and I appreciate you.


PS: If you haven’t already done so, please download a free copy of my popular career advice book Success Tweets and its companion piece Success Tweets Explained.  The first gives you 140 bits of career success advice tweet style — in 140 characters or less.  The second is a whopping 390 + pages of career advice explaining each of the common sense tweets in Success Tweets in detail.  Go to to claim your free copy.  You’ll also start receiving my daily life and career success quotes.

PPS: I opened a membership site last September.  It’s called My Corporate Climb and is devoted to helping people create career success inside large corporations.  You can find out about the membership site by going to http://www.mycorporateclimb.

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  1. Thank you for this great career advices. I like this quote: “Pay it forward. Build relationships by giving with no expectation of return. Give of yourself to build strong relationships.” This is true, not just with work but with friends as well. I love that fact that you also enjoy sharing your insights in building and loving your career. Helping others be enlightened. Kent Julian, a life and career coach, also shares the same insights with you. Kent has this unique perspective on why so many people lack the clarity and passion needed to find true success and significance and thus led him to develop the REAL™ Success principles that he strives to live personally and now teaches through Live It Forward.

  2. Thanks for your comment Ann.
    I’ll have to check out Kent’s ideas.
    All th ebest,

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