Achieve Real Significance

Sunday evening CBS News aired a “60 Minutes” episode that included a story about Paul Tudor Jones II, a billionaire hedge fund manager/philanthropist who founded The Robin Hood Foundation, an organization that has raised and given away over a billion dollars in the past 25 years to fund charter schools as well as job training and food programs in New York City. His efforts are intended to break the cycle of poverty that so many of the city’s inhabitants live in.

Jones’ professional successes and amazing wealth makes the statement he said in yesterday’s story even more noteworthy. In reference to his appeal to the ultra-rich to give generously at his organization’s annual fundraiser, he said:

“You cannot have significance in this life if it’s all about you. You get your significance, you find your joy in life through service and sacrifice. It’s pure and simple.”

This from a man who is worth an estimated 3.6 billion dollars. If that doesn’t remind us that our title, our status, and even our income won’t increase our significance or bring us lasting joy, then I don’t know what will.

It’s not a coincidence that service and sacrifice are also two essential actions of fulfilled, influential, and respected leaders. With that in mind, I’d like to challenge you to answer two questions to yourself:

1. Who are you actively serving – without expecting anything in return?

2. What are you currently giving up (sacrificing) as you lead others?

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