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Fostering a culture of altruism

Hand is sowing seeds that grow into hearts, resembling the growth of altruism

As an entrepreneur and leader, I often think about ways to grow my business. I am constantly hiring new talent, retaining great team members, and investing in their success. To build a great company, you must create a brand people respect, make intelligent business decisions, and provide world-class customer service. 

These are all important elements to growing a successful company. But there’s one thing I encourage business leaders to think about putting at the center of their company culture, giving back.

In 2020, Laurie Santos, a psychology professor at Yale, interviewed David DeSteno for her Happiness Lab podcast to discuss compassion and what helping others does for people. DeSteno is also a professor of psychology who studies social living behaviors, including altruism. He explained on the podcast that giving to others is so rewarding it can improve your mental health and the well-being of the people you’ve helped. He explained that altruism also builds a deep, trusting, and meaningful connection to your community. In other words, doing good for others is good for you and your extended community. 

Giving back should be a significant part of any business strategy, which is why I’ve made sure it’s a part of my team’s core values. Our company aspiration is to transform lives in the Triangle, so we’re proud to sponsor community organizations using Jim Allen Group dollars. Still, there’s more to altruism than spending a company’s money alone.

When a tornado tore through western Kentucky last December, the Jim Allen Group stepped up to help. I couldn’t have been prouder of the work this team did. Thanks to the efforts of JAG employees and our Raleigh-Durham community, we received thousands of dollars of cash donations and supplies. Two weeks later, JAG team member Tim McBrayer drove to Mayfield, Kentucky, to deliver essential supplies, financial support, and more to the community. As evidenced by these efforts, a business team has the collective power to do more together than alone.

But I also believe in supporting my team’s efforts both in-and outside of the office. I want my team to feel empowered to give back on their own, too. Whether it’s volunteering, donating money, taking part in fundraising events, or taking a meal to a neighbor in need, it’s the responsibility of a successful company—built with outstanding team members who take pride in their contributions—to give support to our community.

Does financial success make someone happy? I’ll tell you; it’s incredible seeing my team flourish and hearing great reviews about our work. We’re proud of our accolades and achievements, of course. But at the end of the day, there’s more to life than material success. Real happiness comes from the good we’re putting out into the world. To me, that is a cultural value worth cultivating.

Jim Allen is a business leader and entrepreneur who has built one of the top-producing real estate groups in the Triangle. He is President of The Jim Allen Group, which is consistently named one of the top real estate teams in North Carolina and even North America.

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