Hugh Ballou

  Hugh Ballou


Giving is part of success. Transformational Leaders focus on vision, build leaders on teams, transform vision into reality, create a culture of excellence, and leave a legacy.

Giving back shows up in many forms. At CEO Space International’s Business Growth Conferences, new members are told not to ask for anything, instead asking, “What are you doing, what do you need, and how can I help?” That reverse paradigm to the typical networking process of “ask, ask, ask” changes the results. People come to you, asking what you need, and are willing to help. It’s a culture of giving first. Receiving comes as a result of being a good giver. Successful leaders have the DNA to give.

The United Methodist Church challenges new members to give with prayers, presence, gifts, and service, a great model for anyone leading an enterprise. It’s not about money, but money is a symbol of commitment.

My early-stage entrepreneur clients often ask to defer payment until after their financial success. That process doesn’t work. Without financial commitment, there is no success. Success depends on discipline and commitment, whether in your personal faith journey, musical excellence, or growing a multi-national enterprise.

In 40 years as a musical conductor, I learned that part of leadership is teaching. The message in teaching music is the same as in teaching business success (leadership): success requires commitment and discipline – commitment to your enterprise, to your personal development, and to growing your effectiveness. All of these commitments result in personal wealth.

In Napoleon Hill’s natural laws of success and traits of wealth in Think and Grow Rich, he listed money as the last trait of true wealth because he felt it was the least important. His Laws of Attraction, Reciprocity, and Cause and Effect can be better understood by looking through the lens of giving. He emphasized that successful leaders always brought value to others in their work. Andrew Carnegie considered himself to be a failure if he died with his wealth, so he gave away money to bring continuing value to humankind. Think about all the organizations with the name “Carnegie.”

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Giving our wealth back is a potent dynamic that empowers our own success. Hill’s Laws of Attraction and Reciprocity provide a reverse benefit that comes through giving – giving allows us to help others and adds to our own success! That’s an added benefit, not the reason we give.

Build your own success through personal giving.

  1. Give what you can: Define a percentage of your wealth to give away without self-promotion. As your financial success increases, your donation amount increases as a percentage of your financial wealth.
  2. Don’t toot your own horn: Give as a part of your engagement process. Take your tax deductions and don’t make a big deal about it. Give for the right reasons.
  3. Be a giver and learn to receive: Givers receive value through grateful receiving. Be a giver and a good receiver.
  4. Give more than money: Many unsuccessful people focus on money as their answer. Your financial wealth is due to giving value to others which attracts money into your life. Seeking happiness does not bring happiness. Seeking money does not attract money. Give your time, your knowledge, and give of yourself. Model what success means.
  5. Always be present: Show up, fully present, when you promise to. Act like you are paid to be there. Avoid being distracted by your money and personal success. Leave your phone, computer, and worries behind while you donate yourself.
  6. Be passionate and show it: You are successful because you have a passion driving your success. Give your money, time, talent, and service with passion.

Takers might start out strong, but giving leaders finish in front, leaving value for everyone, especially themselves.


Hugh Ballou, The Transformational Leadership Strategist™, works with visionary CEOs, pastors, and nonprofit leaders and teams to develop purpose-driven collaboration, significantly increasing productivity, profits, and job satisfaction by dramatically decreasing confusion, conflicts, and under-functioning. Hugh employs leadership skills of the conductor in teaching relevant methods and showing leaders to create a high-performance culture that responds to the nuances of the leader, as skilled orchestras responded to his musical direction for 40 years.

This article is reprinted from Issue #4 of Nonprofit Performance Magazine. Subscribe today!

Join Hugh Ballou and Russell Dennis and their guests on our weekly Tuesday afternoon Nonprofit Exchange at 2 pm Eastern time.
If you already have a nonprofit or are thinking of starting one, this will be very helpful. Put it on your calendar NOW! It’s a session that you don’t want to miss! Discover what’s blocking your success!
The Nonprofit Exchange on Tuesdays at 2 pm ET has been quite beneficial for many participants and we have enjoyed sharing thoughts and tips for moving past the stuck places we all find in leading an organization to achieving its mission.
Learn more and access archives HERE.
As the famous British Composer and Conductor Ralph Vaughan Williams once said, “Music does not reveal all of its secrets to just one person.” If you replace the word “Music” with the word “Leadership” or “Team” or “Strategy” etc., then we all give and receive value from others. That’s the spirit of the Tuesday afternoon Nonprofit Exchange encounters, sponsored by SynerVision Leadership Foundation’sCommunity for Community Builders.”

You can join the conversation on Zoom or watch on Facebook Live Video. It’s your choice. You can comment on Facebook and on the Zoom chat box on any device.

Put this on your calendar NOW! It’s a session that you don’t want to miss! Discover what’s blocking your success!

We’ll “see” YOU on the call. Here’s to your greater success!

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