Give Generously, Receive Graciously

I grew up in a family of giving; it has always been a part of who I am and what I do. To that end I strive to live by this famous quote:  “We make a Living by what we get, but we make a Life by what we give.” (To my dear sons, I hope you give generously and receive graciously!)

When reading Adam M. Grant’s book, Give and Take, on the topic of giving, I was inspired to explore the social style of giving; how when one gives generously they get far more than what they give.  According to Adam M. Grant there are three styles of social interaction, “giving, taking and matching.” He contends that all of these styles can be applied both professionally and personally.

Get involved in your community – Do well by doing good!

Giving can be a challenge when you feel that you don’t have the time, but there are many ways to give back that don’t involve a lot of time.  There are volunteer programs that require just one day a year and others that request a few sporadic hours over months.

When you give back to your community you will open yourself up to new people and new opportunities. By volunteering for what you truly care about you will network with community leaders, and that will lead you to be rewarded personally and professionally in ways you never imagined!

Receiving can also be a challenge. It can be difficult to open up and accept help from others. It can also be difficult to receive praise for the good deeds that we do.

Learning how to give and receive is the key to be rewarded by the act of giving back.  My secret to giving and receiving is to have a clear set of personal rules.  I encourage everyone to develop their own set of rules so you can give generously and receive graciously!

My own rules of engagement for giving and receiving:

Give Generously

1. Give with purpose and intent.

2. Give to what matters to you.

3. Be mindful that you can’t give to everyone.

4. Give from your heart and be genuine.

5. Give without expectation.

6. Give credit to others; life is bigger than oneself.

7. Protect your availability.

Receive Graciously

1. Accept praise for your generosity with grace and joy.

2. Do not undermine or second guess your generosity.

3. Be grateful for the opportunity.

4. Others will be inspired by your grace.

5. Be open to accept help from others.

6. Be respectful and timely in your receiving.

7. Be authentic.


My Goal…

When asked why I wanted to go into business, my response was because, “I wanted to be a businessman just like my father.” My father’s successful career was my inspiration and drove me to become the successful businesswoman that I am.

My journey as a professional “in the field” began as a nineteen-year-old co-op accounting student articling with a mid-size accounting firm.  I’ll never forget the one day, as I was working, a senior partner flat out told me that I would never become a Chartered Accountant.  As disappointing as that was to hear, I did not let that stop me in my tracks.  In fact with my own determination and the support of my family to always to your best, I forged ahead! I firmly believed that I could do whatever I put my mind to with hard work.

Hard work,  determination and self promotion has led my career from senior financial management roles, to a venture capital partnership, to my own management consulting firm, and now to corporate director roles. I have been honoured with such awards and distinctions as being nominated a Diversity 50 candidate in 2014, made an Honorary Member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Chapter of Brock University in 2014, received a WXN Top 100 Most Powerful Women award in the Corporate Director category in 2012, and was named a Fellow Chartered Professional Accountant in 2009. I also launched the Deborah E. Rosati Co-op Entrepreneurship Award at Brock University in 2014 to help nurture the next generation of entrepreneurs that will foster innovation and create jobs.

My path to becoming that businessman like my father has taught me that you can achieve your goals. However, my experience as a businesswoman taught me that as women we generally do not take time out to promote ourselves as we should. That’s why my goal is to help and inspire women to get on corporate boards through mentorship and education.

Achieving my goal has led me to co-found Women Get on Board, a member-based forum that connects and promotes women to corporate boards by hosting round-table events and showcasing their expertise online.  Men are also welcome to join as supporting partners because we recognize that we must all work towards diversity and inclusion on corporate boards. If you are interested in Women Get On Board membership, please join our mailing list: