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My Kids Are 100% Right! It’s All About Sharing!

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of going shopping with my kids. Since my parents and siblings live out of town they sent checks to the kids and wanted me to have them buy whatever they wanted for their holiday gifts! I tried to make the experience fun, exciting and yes, a LEARNING EXPERIENCE! The rules were pretty simple – ok they were simple for me, perhaps not so simple for three wonderful kids under 11 who only wanted to spend money and buy themselves some gifts.
The rules were:

  • Each child pick two stores they wanted to shop in.
  • Tell me the items they THOUGHT they wanted to buy.
  • Not go over $100.00

See, I told you the rules were very easy. As we started shopping my oldest son bought a few items at Best Buy and then spent a little more at Academy Sports and Wal-Mart. Our next stop was Target, which was the store all of them wanted to shop at. As each gift was going in the basket I was adding up in my head what each child had spent. Now my daughter jumps into the shopping cart and is starting to play Barbie Dolls prior to paying for everything. I had this feeling that she might be over and bracing myself for a challenging time at the register. As Luck would have it, she went over by $4.88! My first thought was, “Oh no! Now what do I do? Give in or hold my position?” Decision time needed to be quick and firm and my answer was, “Baby, you went over by a few dollars so which of the gifts would you like to not include in your purchase?”

As I was bracing myself for a problem, for a melt-down, for a tantrum for her to start, for her to start throwing things at me, my oldest son says, “Dad, I have a few extra dollars left of my money and would be happy to share it with my sister so she doesn’t have to return anything!” WOW! I didn’t expect that response! My daughter and myself lit up like the largest Christmas tree around and I couldn’t have been more proud of my son!

My kids were sharing at the holidays! What a great message! Isn’t business about that? Sharing 24/7/365?

  • Have a great idea – share it with your boss!
  • You found a new way to do something and save time – share it with your colleagues!
  • Had success negotiated a deal with a partner – share it with your business development team!
  • You didn’t win a project but your prospect gave you some incredible feedback – share it with other salespeople!
  • Your last proposal included some cutting-edge technology – share it!
  • Your profit margin on your largest account is amazing – share it!

I could go on and on with this list. The bottom line is, sharing might be the most important thing a company and its staff could do day in and day out.

I would suggest the most successful companies have staff that shares all the time and the companies that don’t suffer for sure! When I asked a few industry contacts about “sharing” a number of them said that isn’t something that happens too often within their company.

So I would ask you:

  • Does your company have an environment that shares?
  • Do you highlight when people share with other team members?
  • Do you reward people who do share?
  • Do you feel your company is much better off when everyone is sharing success and failures?

If you don’t, perhaps you should take a look at how you could incorporate that into your 2012 strategy!
I look forward to reading your comments.

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