When the Best of Us Steps Up

April 4, 2020

A question I sometimes ask my kids is, "Who benefits from what you just did?" Sometimes, I ask the same thing of myself, following something less than ideal that I just did. As a mentor to small business owners and an author of books about community good, I encourage entrepreneurs and gatekeepers to ask themselves a similar simple question as it relates to an important decision they are making: "Who will benefit?" The question can lead to the discovery of many reasons to step up and do it, or give pause to recognize that the act may not be universally beneficial.

This week, the best of the owner of the New England Patriots and the best of the Governor of Oregon stepped up. They took extra steps to do good, by donating masks and ventilators to needed hot spots. While it is possible to find ulterior motives in their actions, finding these means you have to look for them. Who benefits from this--seeking to discredit goodness--when one is providing for others in a time of deep need?

When the best of us step up, we all benefit. This ad encouraging Canadians to be and do more is a beautiful reminder of what we each can do. Let this period be a pivot point, one where from here on we regularly ask this question of ourselves: Who benefits from my actions?

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