The Franklin Effect

In his recent blog post, Marshall Goldsmith, speaks with Dr. Steven Berglas about the Franklin Effect. Berglas tells the story of Ben Franklin and his relationship with a powerful individual “who was negatively disposed to him.”

“Instead of ingratiating the individual, Franklin asked him for a favor. He asked to borrow a rare book for his book club members to use. What happened then is that, paradoxically, this negatively disposed individual became positively disposed. There are myriad explanations for it, but if you look at it, ultimately, people would rather do something that’s generative and helpful than be loved for having power.”

Marshall highlights this message saying “One thing I always teach is the importance of asking people, ‘How can I be better…? A better husband, better daughter, better parent.…’ so that we are learning from everyone around us. Our research shows that’s leaders who ask people, ‘How can I be better? Help me, give me ideas,’they are not seen as weaker, they are seen as stronger. Because they had the courage to ask for input, the courage to listen and also it’s a compliment to the other person. The biggest compliment I can give you is let you help me.”

Great leaders choose not the  appeal to their power or influence, but rather an offering that touches their desire for giving, for adding value and serving.  It is this gesture to others, an offer of their vulnerability, that opens the recipient to engagement, a beautiful compliment to them in their request for their help. Tony Robbins reminds great leaders: “Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life’s deepest joy: true fulfillment.” May you find this deepest joy and happiness in your selfless caring and service to others – in helping them discover the greatness and potential of their life and the world around them. What a magnificent gift!

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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