Ep 135: The Principles of Service

Serving others is often easier said than done. In this episode, Adam Quiney gives an introduction to the guiding principles of service. Out of the 18 principles, Adam gives out a sneak peek on six. Understand what it means to sway away from your agenda and go back to the roots of sales, which is human connection. Learn how to apply these principles as strategies in order to truly serve others and create a lasting impact on the world that stands out from the noise of the ordinary. Join in to know how to get your hands on all eighteen principles and start your journey of service towards others.

Listen to the Episode Here:

The Principles of Service

These are conversations with the intention of causing leadership in the world instead of giving you something to regurgitate, parrot and repeat back to other people. That is not leadership. Take note. We’re going to be talking about the principles of service. We’ll talk about what even is service and why do we need principles around these? What would benefit us from that. Before we begin, this would be the last week that you can register for this round of The Creating Clients Course. I want to talk briefly about the opportunity that’s there. It’s a low commitment way of working with me. Part of the reason I created this is that there are a lot of people that I want to serve, the rates I charge and the level of commitment I work with people in their lives.

Some people are not ready to do that. This is a place to come and commit to something in service of yourself and what you’re committed to creating, create some transformation with a group of other people committed to doing the same and completely transform your relationship to selling. Most of the time, most of us have selling as distinct from the thing we love doing. That thing over there called coaching, making software or practicing law that I love.

I got to create clients. I hate doing that and it sucks but I’m willing to. Where we get to is this place where we’ve either delegated the thing we don’t want to do or we’re efficient and good at doing the thing we don’t want to do. We get to spend as much time as possible doing what we love to do and fully expressed 90% of the time of my life doing what I’m here to do. The other 10% of the time not but that’s pretty good. Most people never get there.

That sucks because you’re still giving up 10% of who you are or you’re spending 10% of your life not fully expressed. What I assert is the truth is that norm of your life. It needs to be something in which you are not showing up as you. None of your life requires you to be something other than who you be naturally. In this course, what we do is break down and unlearn so much of the traditional approach to sales, which leads to this divide. Instead, we help you bring these two things together to integrate all of it so you can see holy crap. All of it is simply me showing up and serving people. Me showing up and being who I am in the world with and for people. On the other side of that, what you’ll discover is that conversations like work-life balance become a lot less meaningful.

It’s not that you don’t want to spend time on your Peloton, lifting weights, with your kids or present with your partner. It’s that the idea that there’s your work over there and your life over there and those are separate things that need to be balanced becomes nonsensical because instead, it all starts to occur to you as places in your life that you show up. You show up and be who you are naturally. There isn’t any time spent over there selling to someone. There’s another person to serve. They’re maybe already a client or not yet a client but instead, you can show up and serve. That is miraculous. If you’re interested in that, you can go to AdamQuiney.com/ClientCreation. Learn all about it. I hope you’ll consider it. Come, join us. It’s a blast and it is truly transformative.

GL 135 | Principles Of Service

Principles Of Service: Asking someone to see what would support them and then honoring their answer is serving them.


Expressing Your Art

Now, let’s talk about the principles of service. I assert as a starting point that humans have an innate desire to serve each other and an innate desire to make a difference on this planet to have an impact. That’s part of the beauty of humanity. We are called to create and to make art happen in the world. I don’t mean art necessarily as a painting or that is certainly an expression of art. Art meaning you, expressing yourself and creating something that serves others in some way. We all want to serve other people.

Most of us find ourselves in careers where we are committed to doing so. I’m a mechanic, I get to serve people by helping them out with their car. I’m a painter, I get to serve people by painting.

I’m a coach, I get to serve people by supporting them to transform who they are in their lives. We all want to serve but we conflate, we confuse service with all manner of other things because we have it all conflated and melded up into this messy ball, we are left not having service distinct from the other stuff we do.

As a result, it tends to get collapsed in with a variety of other things. Rather than leaving someone in the impact of being served and supported, they’re left in something else. Here’s a bunch of stuff we confuse and collapse disserving someone. Giving advice, convincing, selling, debating, spamming, manipulating, asking them questions from our own agenda, telling as in telling them what to do, say or think or feel, giving them answers, teaching and so much more. A set of steak knives.

It’s not even that any of these things are exclusive of truly serving someone. It’s that serving someone becomes secondary to our own agenda rather than being the primary function of what we’re providing. For example, those people that spam you with their webinar offers on LinkedIn. They’re a great example of this action. If you ever get into a conversation with those people and reflect their impact back on them. What I mean by reflecting their impact back to them, the way you might do that and be like, “Do you want some feedback on how this is landing?” If they are gracious enough to say yes, you might say you reached out to me on LinkedIn. We’ve never met before you added me. You immediately said, “I’m running this webinar. If you’re interested, come join it.”

Humans have an innate desire to serve each other, an innate desire to make a difference on this planet. Click To Tweet

You felt like getting spammed. If you were to reflect that, typically the response they’ll give you is, “I’m trying to support and serve people. It sounds like you didn’t want it so no worries.” They push that aside and say, “I’m trying to serve and support people,” which on some level is true but serving these secondary to their agenda to make as many invitations as possible. As to ensure they get a sufficient number of people in their webinar and it was to ensure they get hired. Further, none of this is transparent. It’s all done in the guise of, “I’m trying to serve the most number of people.” In these instances, serving you cannot be their primary intention or impact because they haven’t even checked in with you to see what would serve you.

The only time they’re going to be serving you is when the stars align. I happened to be looking for the webinar they were providing. If you’re a believer in astrology, ride on. Otherwise, you get the idea. It’s not that there’s no possibility of me being served. It’s that service is not the primary intention and primary goal. What these principles we’re going to go through, we’re going to go through six of them, the idea is to support you in getting to a place where your service is your primary intention. It doesn’t mean that people might not be left feeling a certain way. It doesn’t mean you might not have a mess to clean up. What it means though is that you can rest assured that what you are doing is serving people.

What I can tell you is that when we go about our life truly serving people, that has an impact. That is felt by the world around us. It is felt differently from the noise of the ordinary. Go on LinkedIn, Facebook, add yourself to groups and notice what happens. Notice how people show up. It is not with an intention to serve you first and foremost. It’s with an intention to somehow get you, pinch you or invite you to their products. You take their things then you purchase that thing. It’s funny because people will add me on LinkedIn often. You’ve heard me share this. They’ll say, “Adam, I’m so excited to connect with professionals online.” It’s vague. I said, “Tight niche you’re working with but nevermind that.” I’d love to ask you a question if that would be okay.

These days I say, “Absolutely.” If the question is if I’m looking for more leads or whatever then the answer is no, thank you. I rarely ever hear a follow-up from those particular people. Now some people do have a genuine question and those are a delight. It’s a delight when people show up and have a question like, “What is it about the coaching profession? Why is it saturated the way it is?” Any question that’s genuinely curious because now their question is genuine. It’s genuinely a question from curiosity rather than the question being secondary to their real intention which is, “I’m hoping that I can pitch you and get you as a client.”

GL 135 | Principles Of Service

Principles Of Service: What’s possible only exists in the unknown. Everything that we already know is in the realm of the familiar. It’s just more of what we already have.


When that person shows up genuinely like that, it stands out so starkly from the background noise. This is why you might put a lot more intent on making the service of people, a primary function because it stands out. It has you be highlighted from the rest of the world. We’re going to go over a few of these principles. If you’d like all eight to them, you can send me an email. You can reach out to me and say, “I’d love those.” I’ll send you the PDF. I’ll tell you, you can email me at PR@AdamQuiney.com. You can also do that at the end of the show. I’ll give you that email again.

The Power Of Asking

The first principle is if you’re not clear, if someone wants your support, asking them directly and honoring their answer is serving them. Right out of the gate, that’s something that doesn’t often happen. All of these people that push their webinar in front of me, they’ve not asked if I want that or I’m looking for support. What would support you? None of that is a conversation. Instead, it’s here. People might say, “Adam, those people are trying to do economies of scale. They’re going for sheer numbers. They don’t have time to do that.”

That’s fine. This isn’t about making them wrong. It’s about pointing to if your commitment is to service. First and foremost, it’s going to take a little longer and it’s going to have you stand out from the background noise. The background noise is that people’s primary thing is getting the numbers and doing economies of scale so as to get hired rather than their primary thing being to serve me. If you are not clear, if someone wants your support, asking them directly and honoring their answer is serving them.

This is so potent in many regards. If you’re in a conversation where someone you said, “Are you interested in a conversation about this?” They’re like, “Yes, maybe.” You’re like, “I don’t want to be pushy. You don’t have to worry about that.” Instead, you can put your attention on serving them so you can say, “I heard you say maybe. Do you want my support to get to a clear yes or no?” If they say, “I’m good.” You’ve got your answer. You’re serving them by honoring that. You’ve served them by asking a question and say, “I would appreciate some support. I’m not sure if what you’re offering is what I want. You can help me with that.” You’re serving them.

When we go about our life truly serving people, it has an impact that is felt by the world around us. It is felt differently from the noise of the ordinary. Click To Tweet

If at any point you realize you’re not clear someone wants you to support and asking them directly whether they do is serving them. We have to honor that answer. If they say no and then we try to find a new way to get in, that’s problematic and not serving them. Second, asking someone to see what would support them and then honoring their answer is serving them. What often happens is we have someone show up and they’re feeling bad or they’re emotional.

We assume, “What’s there for me to do is to try to give them a framing so they can see this on the bright side.” New coaches do this a great deal as do people that have grown up with an inability to be with sadness and anger. People where everything has to be joy because that’s the better way to feel or whatever. It will naturally try to shift people into that spectrum themselves because they don’t have any ability for themselves or anyone else to hang out there.

They would insist, “I’m trying to serve this person.” You’re trying but you’re not. The reason you’re not is that you’re not honoring the second principle, which is to say if you want to serve them, ask someone to see what would support them. “What would support you?” They might not know the answer to that question but what’s important is that by asking it, you were supporting them. It is serving someone to ask them, “What would support you?” We have to honor that answer. If you could remind me, I don’t suck. Here’s why you’re awesome. We don’t get to turn that back into our own agenda.

Overcoming Fear

Number three, supporting someone to overcome their fear is serving them provided they’re a yes to your support. If you’re not sure if they’re a yes, go back to number one. Ask them directly and then honor their answer. This is important because often when people want to be a yes to you in what you’re providing, it’s going to mean that they’re choosing into new possibility. The reason people would work with you, if you’re up to anything of any note in the world, would be that whatever you provide is going to open up new possibility and new possibility is half a balloon. Possibility and fear open together. The reason for this is that what’s possible only exists in the unknown. Everything that we already know is in the realm of the familiar and if there’s nothing new there, it’s more of what we already have. As soon as we start to go into the unknown, we’re going to be present to more possibilities available. Soon too, It will be present with more fear. It’s like blowing up a balloon.

The more possibility, the more fear shows up. Therefore, if you are providing someone a service, if you want to create a client or serve someone in a way that’s going to open up more possibility, they will get afraid predictably and their fear will get in the way of them being a yes to you. You can serve them, not push them, by saying, “I got it. It sounds like there are some concerns. Would you like my support with that?” The thing that’s important here is if they are a yes, you are serving them. You are not pushing them. You are not being a pushy salesperson. The way that we ensure we are serving rather than being conniving, manipulative or convincing is we asked them directly. We go back to principle number one.

GL 135 | Principles Of Service

Principles Of Service: You don’t need to know every step of the way that you’re serving someone. When you realize you’re no longer sure if you’re serving someone, checking back in with them is serving them.


Transparency In Your Intentions

Number four, being transparent about your intentions. Allow someone to tell you if they’re a yes or a no to what you were providing and this is serving them. There are degrees to this. You don’t have to say like, “You seem cool. I’m hoping we could have a conversation.” Five steps later, “You’ll hire me and I have a bunch of money. I can use that to get a car.” That’s taken us to the extreme. What’s important is that by being transparent, we remove the capacity for us to be manipulative. I work with people a lot on a lie on how to create prosperity, how to support people to be a yes to working with them. One of the biggest fears is this concern that they are a manipulative salesperson.

As soon as you bring whatever’s there in the space into the space. Meaning as soon as you be transparent with what’s going on, you cannot be manipulating people. I cannot manipulate you if I am upfront about what I’m doing. I could start to try to create this fancy poker thing but I could put my cards down on the table or I could lay my cards down and say, “I’m pushing all my chips in because that’s going to scare you. I don’t have a very good hand. I’m not trying to manipulate you. Your hand might beat mine but that’s what I’m going to do.” That would get into another level of complexity because they might be like, “Is he trying to fool me? He’s saying that because he knows blah, blah, blah.”

That’s over there with them. I’ve done my part. I’ve been honest and upfront. When I’m connecting with people and then offer them a coaching conversation, they’ll often say, “I’m worried that you’re trying to get me as a client. What’s in this for you?” I’d be transparent with them. I say, “A couple of things. First of all, you’re up to some cool stuff in life. I would like to know what that’s like and coaching someone I get to be in it with them. I’m going to get to learn about your world, which is cool. Two, I’m going to get to serve you. I don’t know if anything else will come of this but I do know that in serving you, your life is going to be left better.”

A couple of things might happen from there. One, you might be like, “I’m great. This was fantastic. I don’t need any more support. Thank you so much, Adam.” You go into the world and you’ll be a better person or you move past this and that’s cool. You come back to me in ten years and say, “That was so powerful. I’d like to work together now.” You tell a few friends about what we’ve created and they come to work with me or you and I have such powerful synergy that we start working together. All of those are possible and I’m open to all of them. Where I’m starting is that you seem pretty cool, I love what you’re up to and I think that I could serve you in a coaching conversation.

Being Of Service

That’s where I’m coming from. I’m allowing space for all of it. I’m not manipulating them, I’m being clear. “Here’s what’s in it for me.” This serves people. Number five, you do not have to constantly know that what you are providing is of service. That’s important. It’s not like I need to know every step of the way that I’m serving someone. What is important is when you realize you are no longer sure if you were serving someone, checking back in with them as serving them. There’s a point in a conversation where I start to get doubtful. I start to be afraid that, “Is this my agenda? Am I trying to move this person to where they need to be?” I can check-in and say, “Is this serving you? Is there something else that will support you?”

Serving With Clarity

By honoring their answer, I’m providing them service. You can hopefully see that the intention here is it takes so much of the stuff we hold within. We try to avoid transparency and we think we should already know like, “I should know how to show up with this person. What to provide them? What to say?” All of this stuff and it’s exhausting. It all stays hidden because we’re worried about looking stupid. What these principals do is they bring it all out into the open for you which allows you to be transparent, it takes away so much anxiety and allows you to truly be of service with someone as an act of co-creation with them. Finally, number six, asking for more clarity from someone is serving them.

If we were talking about being in a sales conversation, this would be like, “Are they a yes? Are they no? Does their ‘yeah, but’ mean that they want to end the conversation or they support to overcome the objection?” A lot of people hear, “I’d love to do this but now is not the time.” That’s a yeah, but. “Yeah, I want this but.” We hear that and we’re terrified of being that shady salesperson so we were like, “Great, no problem.” The call got off the phone. Let’s find someone else, which is totally fine. Except for some people, part of how their fear is going to show up is it not being the right time. You’ll notice that for some of these people, it’s never the right time. It’s always next year. We can serve those people by checking in with them a couple of ways. The first is we can ask for more clarity.

From there, “I’d love to support you with that and take a look at that if you want.” on the other hand, that means you want to end the conversation. “Would you like me to go deeper with you? Would you like to end the conversation?” If they say, “I’d like to end it.” Great. If they said, “I’d love to go deeper.” Great. Is there anything particular to support you? We’re always checking back in over there. That’s where these principles are about. They lead us away from our agenda, back to a partnership with the other person and that creates magic.

We’re going to finish with why this matters as a leader and then we’re going to wind down because we’re already getting long. First of all, with your teams, why does this matter? We get confused about the service. What happens is we make a mess or we collapse so as to avoid making a mess. If your teams are involved in enrolling people in something, selling something or even as leaders, enrolling people in some possibility because there’s what we do as leaders. As leaders, we sell people possibility so to speak.

We’re going to make messes. It’s still going to happen. This gives you a place to get clear on where you stand and what you stand for. From there, clean up your mess doesn’t have to be so much of a mea culpa. “I’m a horrible person. I’m so sorry.” Be like, “There was a place I stepped over. Let me clean that up. What would serve you from here?” It gives us a beautiful way to connect with another human being before and of service. On a personal level, practicing following these principles will take out the uncertainty and the doubt.

With these principles as a place to stand and where you’re coming from, you can remove a lot of your anxiety by your intentions. When we do that, we tend to have a cleaner impact. Part of what has us create messes is that we’re so scared to create messes. We do all these weird calisthenics to avoid creating a mess, which then creates the mess. It also provides us a place to stand when we receive feedback rather than I’m trying to serve. That’s not a very powerful place to serve from. Being willing to listen and receive the impact of our attempts to serve someone serves them. Let me say that again to make it a little clear. If I am willing to listen to and receive the impact of how I’ve shown up with someone, meaning I send someone that message that says, “Watch my webinar,” and they say, “I’ve got some feedback for you.”

My willingness to receive that without justifying or making excuses and be like, “I get it. That landed you like spam. Thanks for that feedback.” That is serving someone. When I can receive it that cleanly then I can improve my process rather than defending it which is what happens when we say, “I’m trying to serve people.” Let’s say, “I’m doing my best.” We don’t get anyone getting in with us and then we keep repeating the same mistakes. That’s the first six. There are eighteen total principles of service. The intention is that they leave you with a much cleaner place to stand and much less anxiety, a lot easier way to go about doing whatever it is you’re doing in the world and ensure that you’re serving people ongoingly.

It’s a beautiful thing to take on. If you’d like those, you can email me at PR@AdamQuiney.com. That’s our show email and subject line Principles Of Service. Can you send me that PDF you mentioned? Absolutely. I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode. We are in the New Year at this point so Happy New Year. I hope that 2021 is a different vibe from 2020. I will finish this by saying that 2020 for me has been a remarkable year. There’s been a tremendous amount of sadness, grief, breakdowns in my own life, tremendous breakthroughs, gifts and an absolute abundance of wealth that has come from it. I don’t mean wealth financially but spiritually, energetically and in terms of my being. It’s been a year that’s called me forward to create, grow and be more of a leader. I hope yours has had some silver linings and positive light to it as well. I’m going to see you next time. Bye for now.

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About Adam Quiney

I’m an obsessive perfectionist, high-performer, former lawyer, and now an Executive Mentor. I know what it’s like to succeed easily and quickly. To blindly put my happiness in the hands of achievement.

All the success, money and possessions in the world couldn’t cure my boredom. Couldn’t produce a loving, intimate relationship with my wife…and definitely couldn’t fulfill me.