free kits for people who can’t afford them. Meredith’s agency
helped to create a network with hospital systems across the
country. They brought promotional partners on board to help
bootstrap the additional money needed to distribute the kits to
hospitals and give them to less affluent parents.
By doing more - not just helping Paul Allen and Vulcan
Productions find a great outcome with This Emotional Life, but
expanding that outcome to include thousands of new parents in
need - Meredith added exponentially to the value of the project.
And in the process, she helped fulfill her most important
personal goal: to be a role model for her own children.
“Children absorb so much, their brain is a moving train,” she
says. “I feel a responsibility not only to feed and clothe and
shelter and help them grow, but to lead my fullest life and
model that for them.”
When you focus on doing more, your goal is to seek ways
to help other people—not yourself. But one of our power
influencers offers a practical suggestion for helping others by
Larry Senn chairman of Senn Delaney, an international firm
focused on shaping organizational culture says you can do more
for the people in your life by making a stronger commitment to
keeping yourself healthy.
This may sound self-serving at first, but it’s not. When you’re
in good shape, you’re better able to take care of your family
and you’re more likely to be around to positively influence
their lives in the future. And when you’re healthy, you have
more energy and mental clarity so you make better decisions
both at work and at home.
Larry practices what he preaches. At age seventy, he started
doing Sprint-triathlons. He’s now seventy-six years old, and
runs six triathlons per year.
He says, “It all ties back to purpose. My highest purpose is
my family. I have a huge obligation to be able to keep healthy
for them, and I need to do an exemplary job of taking care of
myself. I need also to do an exemplary job for my clients, and
to serve them well I need to be at the top of my game, which
requires discipline in terms of fitness and diet and growth and
evolution as a person.”
By the way, Larry often wins in his age group when he runs
triathlons. This year he won in Long Beach, Redondo Beach,
Manhattan Beach, and San Diego. “I’m not fast, but there aren’t
many guys left in my bracket!” he jokes. “In these triathlons
they paint your age in giant letters on your calf, and I get lots
of comments. It’s fun to pass guys in their twenties and thirties
on my bike and hear them say, ‘Wow! Go for it!’”
Doing more may not make you a triathlon champion or give
you the power to make an entire auditorium full of military
cadets hold hands. But it will demonstrate, more powerfully
than any words or manipulative gimmicks can, that you are
worthy of people’s at-tention and respect.
Moreover, as Larry Senn and Meredith Blake prove, doing
more can be a direct path to helping yourself as well as others.
When you go beyond what’s expected of you by adding
insight, adding emotional value, and adding practical value,
you gain new insights into your own strengths and values. You
find creative ways to solve problems and discover a greater
empathy for other people. You act each day in ways that make