The order in which the words appear in this quote were very carefully considered to make a certain point. I was on a business coaching call and give the simplest, cut to the chaise answer, that I could about how to build a successful business. It was intended to give a particular feeling. Let’s consider some alternates and what they imply. Then I’ll explain why I carefully said it as I did so you too can build a successful business and life. The concept here certainly does not only apply to business.
It could just have easily been said, “The more you stand up for people, the more they stand up for you.” There’s a lot I like about this way of saying it too. It shows deep commitment to people. And trusting in turn that they will stand up for you. Sort of karma in action. Why I don’t think it represents the way to build a business is because it implies a one-to-one relationship. It takes more than that build a business.
Alternatively, it could have been said, “The more people you stand up for, more people will stand up for you.” This can be a good thing in business. Volume. You are standing up for a lot of people and therefore MORE people are standing up for you. Not a bad alternative. It feels fragile to me though. It doesn’t feel like it has a good foundation. It’s a bit based on “celebrity” and having mass appeal.
So why did I say it as I did? “The more people you stand up for, the more people will stand up for you.” To me, it demonstrates a willingness to be a leader. To stand up for lots of people. To take on the challenge of full commitment to others even on a large scale. It results in individuals standing up for you with increased commitment to your mission. Not focusing on the masses, but each individual becoming an evangelist for your cause or your business. We’ve seen this time and again with successful leaders. How one strong believer, one committed follower, can rally the masses. People respond with deep commitment to those they see helping other people. The greater they see your influence, the more they want to help. These are sometimes know as your first followers. I have many in my life who I treasure tremendously. It has shown me how the support of a few, because they stand behind what you’re doing, can have life changing results.
This is how you build a successful business or expand a cause. Instead of APPEALING to the masses, SERVE the masses to get the support of those who get behind you 100% and are eager to spread the word.