Did Leopold already have this power?

Those words inspired us, in the hardest place in our lives, to do something positive. We looked for ways to help Leopold become a Go-Giver.


Being so tiny and helpless, he couldn’t do much on his own.

So in the spirit of giving, we hung bags of sweets besides his incubator.

During morning rounds, the nurses would freshen up with Minties from the bag.

In the quiet of the night, they would visit Leopold for a chocolate pick-me-up.

We also wanted to give Leopold the ability to make people smile, so we started putting up signs with “Leopold Facts."

He was born the day after the 2016 US election, which inspired the most popular Leopold Fact:

“I didn’t vote for Trump”.

Even while hooked up to monitors, he could still make people laugh. Everyone loves a 26-week-old baby with a sense of humour.

The Outcome of Giving

Soon, everyone knew Leopold. Not because he was the sickest baby in the NICU, but because he was already giving to those around him.

It gave us something, too.

During a time of adversity, we found a way to bring joy to others and a welcome distraction from stressful medical emergencies.

After six months, Leopold was transferred to another hospital, and his two-month stay there made the first six in NICU feel like a holiday.

Sitting in Leopold’s room, I asked myself why this experience felt so different.

Then it hit me – no one was stopping by to check in on us.

I knew exactly how to change that. All it takes is a bag of sweets.

Out came the Minties and chocolates, and I witnessed the Law of Reciprocity in action.

The more we gave, the more people wanted to give back.

Soon Leopold was just as popular as he had been in the NICU.

Creating Influence in Finance

"Succeeding in business is all about making genuine connections." - Richard Branson

Giving is the first step to exerting influence. It’s how you build a rapport with stakeholders.

This works no matter your power base. Here are simple acts of giving I do, and anyone can do too:

  • Give compliments:

Nothing over the top – noticing a new haircut, new outfit, or a strong piece of work will do the trick. I personally appreciate it when I get compliments on the shoes I took the time to polish.

  • Lend an ear: 

People love talking about their interests. Remembering their kids’ names, their pets, or their hobbies will make them feel heard. As a dog lover, I’m especially keen on people’s stories about their pets.

  • Pose a question:

Show genuine interest in people by asking deeper questions. If they golf, don’t ask how their last round went – ask them what they love about golfing. Though, don’t ask me what I love about delivering training - not unless you have 30 minutes to listen to my answer!

You might be thinking, “Wait a minute, this has nothing to do with finance!”

And you’re absolutely right.

Influence in finance isn’t about numbers.

It’s about people.

Influence is a long game. It takes time to build rapport.

But it all starts with small acts of giving.

So, Is Giving All It’s Cracked Up to Be?

Well, a strange thing happened to me.

After practising giving for a long time, my motivations changed.

Like Leopold and other Go-Givers, I no longer give to get something in return.

I do it because it feels good to make others feel good.

The returns do come, but they’re not the point. They’re just a bonus.