The Power of Sharing

Nothing great was ever achieved alone.


The achievement of Leicester City Football club caused me to think about just what it is that makes us so much more effective when we work with others to achieve our goal even when up against truly extraordinary individuals in other teams or organisations?

When you study human behaviour you quickly see that we all have a deeply rooted desire to work with others in pursuit of a shared and common goal. This primal instinct is hard wired into us. It taps into deep levels of resourcefulness that we all have, but may not realise, or perhaps think is not relevant to us in our working lives.

A truth about human behaviour is that the simple act of sharing liberates these resources for ourselves and for all those around us. We come to understand that by putting our attention on helping others to be the best that they can be, we too have the chance to be extraordinary.

The code that unlocks this individual and organisational treasure trove in one simple question:

How can I help?

Place your attention on this question and you become curious about two things, what do those around me need, and what resources do I have that can help with that? In the firing of the neural networks of curiosity you quite literally expand the possibilities available for you and those around you. You’re no longer blinkered by parochial self-interest and are instead open to myriad opportunities for growth, change and transformation that lie in the connections between you and others.

Studies into human behaviour show us that our desire to share and collaborate goes right back to the tribal instincts that kept us safe on the Savannah, gave our tribe its identity and enable our tribe to prosper. The more successful tribes were those in which the instinct to collaborate and share in pursuit of the common good was at its strongest.

It seems that great tribes are characterized by a common set of attributes they share and use to strengthen and improve their ability to prosper and grow. Leicester City FC powerful reminds us of that truth today. A team with no star players, at the bottom of the premiership fighting relegation just 12 months ago is now the best team in one of the most competitive leagues in the world.

So in the spirit of sharing and helping others to be their best here’s some food for thought:

The 7 Characteristics of Successful Sharing

  1. Common goals – Identify and get clear about shared ambitions and goals. Learn how being clear about those goals creates close bonds and helps focus resources and energy in ways that accelerate their effectiveness.
  1. Shared skills – Discover and share experience and expertise both similar and different in order to enhance and expand effectiveness.
  1. Collective improvement – Come to realise that the most potent way to be your best is to help others to be their best.This includes friendly competition, honest and constructive feedback, as well as encouragement, coaching and teaching skills.
  1. Rituals – Put in place regular practices that reinforce common bonds and strengthen mutually beneficial capabilities and attributes. Over time these rituals create powerful new habit through which the individual and the business grows toward its goal.
  1. Role models – Identify those who embodied the beliefs, values and behaviours that will contribute most to the collective success. They will inspire others by what they do and the way they do it to be the best that they can be.
  1. Social norms – Use stories and anecdotes to share and celebrate a set of values and behaviours that ‘the tribe’ holds to be important and keep alive through the choices they make and the actions they take.
  1. Empathy and Engagement – Take time stand in the shoes of your colleagues and clients and see the world through their eyes. Notice how it feels as much as you learn from what you will see and hear.

Leicester City FC and many many other stories continually show us that we can all achieve truly extraordinary things when we amplify individual effort with collective endeavour. Perhaps.

Look beyond local allegiance to see instinct to share and achieve together is alive and in operation today, even though most of us don’t realise it is.

Sharing is at the heart of all social behaviour and at the heart of all great businesses and all extraordinary lives well lived.


Tom Griffin

Behavioural Strategist – The 4th Wave