12 MARCH 2022


When I first came across this concept of What’s In It For Me (WIIFM), I was intrigued by this fantastic and selfless approach of giving customers their due, by putting them first. We all hear the famous saying, ‘Customer is King’ and that they have to be taken care of. In proving this is true, there’s no better way than thinking in their shoes as to what they require. Ultimately, all of us are aware that any product sells only if there are customers who want them!

I would like to delve deeper and see how we can extend this wonderful concept across the many walks of life and benefit from the same.

1. Selfless living:

Just as salesmen start to think of their product with the end customer in mind, so also, how good would it be if we were to keep the other in mind when it comes to our behaviours or actions. Today, there is so much of uneasiness we see, be it on the road - where no one is willing to give the other space or be it in a supermarket - where everyone seem to be in a hurry. Many prefer not to share or bother about the other for fear of losing out.

2. Servant leadership:

The premise of servant leadership is that leaders are here to serve and they will be the last to eat at the table. While many political leaders want to lure their followers with materialistic promises, great people leaders on the other hand, share their wealth of knowledge with their team members in the true spirit of addressing the well-being of the other. They believe in the concept of sharing and giving the other an opportunity to grow. By virtue of this, they get more like-minded people into their fold, willingly and whole-heartedly.

3. At the workplace:

The concept of teamwork is what propels organisations today, rather than an over-dependency on a few key individuals. We find that more organisations are designing breakout workspaces only to encourage collaboration and brainstorming within teams. Fostering a mindset whereby all team members are individually led by their own motives of what's in it for me could be detrimental to orgainsational growth. Instead, encouraging a culture of observing and acknowledging the contributions of fellow team members could yield rich results because of the collective wisdom of teams. Directing employees to believe in team cohesiveness is important.

I am always reminded of Formula 1 drivers who get all the accolades and recognition for winning F1 championships. Though from the outside, it looks like they are the reason for their victory but the truth is that they are heavily supported by their entire team or pit crew and racing team management. The same applies to a relay race as well, where the anchor(last runner in the relay team) steals the limelight and more often than not, the first three runners are forgotten. Great sportspersons always thank their teams for their support and acknowledge their contribution in making them successful, thereby demonstrating 'what's in it for us'.

4. In marriage:

Marriages are successful when there is mutual respect, ensuring that the wants of the partner are met. Many marriages are put to the test and quite a few fail only because either of the parties don’t want to give up on their individual identities. They fail to adopt, adapt and adjust to the habits and behaviours of their partner. No one wants to be a martyr but being open to understanding the needs of the other can go a long way in their marriage. The road will become a dead-end if both parties are not willing to compromise in order to accommodate the other.

WIIFM with a twist:

I am highlighting a few instances which can be avoided in order to achieve success and satisfaction of the other.

  1. When candidates at an interview talk only about what they want from the organisation and how joining the organisation would benefit their career, while conveniently forgetting to even mention of how they could help the organisation with their contributions.
  2. When contracts are entered into, keeping only one’s own interests in mind.
  3. When people in a conversation, listen only ‘to respond’ and not ‘to understand’.
  4. When people approach you only at a time when they need you and later conveniently disappear, perhaps when you need their help.
  5. When people focus on only on receiving and forget about giving.

So, with service in mind let’s look at what’s in it for the other and not be blinded with discontentment by always focusing on what’s in it for me!