Aké Satia is the Chief Vision Officer at Aké Satia, a Human Capital firm in the DC area focused on strengthening organizations by bolstering the intersection of people strategy and business strategy.



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Give Freely and Receive Gratefully

Last week, we wrapped up a series on a subject that is always relevant: What True Leaders Know! – The goal was to explore hidden gems that dictate the behaviors of those who lead well, regardless of the title. – If you haven’t checked out those blogs, I encourage you to take a peek. Well, closing that chapter allows us to open a new one! – And our next series will be on one of the most critical aspects of an organization: CULTURE. But before we delve into that, let’s set the groundwork by addressing two tenets that define an organization’s culture. And that is GIVING and RECEIVING. Notably, giving freely and receiving with gratitude are qualities we all desire to see others display. – After all, who doesn’t love a cheerful giver – especially when they give to us? 😉

We marvel at stories about those who rushed to help a neighbor as Hurricane Ian destroyed their home in September 2022. And we admire those who go out of their way to help others have a meal. – Why? Because, as humans, we have an innate appreciation for those who step out of their comfort zone to meet others’ needs. 

And this should lead us to ask ourselves: How do I meet the needs of my teammates? And how do I respond to what they offer? Importantly, how does my organization respond when they receive from others – employees, customers, partners, etc.?

The struggle to give and receive.

As humans, we sometimes struggle to appreciate what others offer to us. And at times, we wrestle with giving our best to others. – This can happen for a variety of reasons. – Such as if we think giving is only valuable when we receive. Or if we believe that what we receive defines who we are.
But it’s worth remembering that w
ho we truly are doesn’t necessarily determine what we get. – Because others might underestimate us, judge us unfairly, or choose to withhold from us of no fault of ours.
However, Who We Are is inextricably linked to What We Can Give. And this is the undeniable power that every human being possesses.

How do you receive what others offer?

To make this real, let me share a personal experience with you: Daily, I engage with many businesses across several verticals to get stuff done. Which often entails relying on others for expertise. – I view these interactions as opportunities to learn. And I often gain and share insights that experts in the field may not have unearthed. – Now, one might think it is strange for someone to have insights when they are not an expert. But it isn’t. – In reality, this ability underlies a business principle that innovative organizations employ. – Innovative cultures uncover the unknown by welcoming fresh eyes and enabling cross-sections of people to solve problems together. And this is effective because when someone is interested but not embedded in a group, they are less likely to engage in groupthink. And they are more likely to come up with fresh ideas. Indeed, this has consistently been my experience!

Admittedly, for some, a client giving feedback on how they can do better is a hard pill to swallow. – And some businesses use ideas secretively and struggle to acknowledge others. But a lack of acknowledgment, though unfair, should not deter a giver. – Because the value of a gift is the substance. And the value of a gift is not determined by how it is received. 

And as we contribute to creating a world where future generations can thrive, we advance society. Therefore in a world where others struggle to show appreciation, how does one stay motivated to give their best? – The answer lies in our intention!

Why do you give?

When you give a gift to someone, what do you expect? A heartfelt thank you? A gift in return? Or public praise?

As I stated earlier, it is natural to want to be appreciated when you give to others. Notably, regarding employment, one should seek and expect compensation for their work. – Because those are the rules of that game. – You work, you get paid! And credible employers honor this commitment.

At the same time, there is another reality that we all have to face. – Life is short. And I don’t say that to be glib. But if one does not share whatever greatness they have in them, it dissipates without benefitting anyone! Therefore, withholding what you have to offer is less of a disservice to others and more of a missed opportunity to make an impact. And that is a choice we all get to make for ourselves.

What will you choose?

For you and to you,



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