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The Platinum Rule – by Erin Daunic, Director of Development


I had the good fortune to participate in the Center For Nonprofit Management’s Bridges to Excellence Conference on May 22, 2010, met some good people, visited with old friends and learned something remarkable: The Platinum Rule.

During the last workshop of the day, I attended Cathy Self’s LEADING WITH LOVE & NOT FEAR presentation on servant leadership.   I walked into the room excited to see Cathy and feeling like I had a solid understanding of the difference between leading with love rather than fear.  And, as is usually the case when I think I have things figured out, I was blown away by I learned.

Most of us understand the concept of the Golden Rule: do unto others as we would have done unto ourselves.  It makes sense, feels nice, we get it.  However, if I were coming to your house for dinner and wanted to bring you a token of my appreciation by giving you one of my most favorite items, for instance, Fritos, and you were allergic to corn, the Golden Rule sort of falls apart.  The Platinum Rule takes this kind sentiment and truly puts it into action.  The Platinum Rule states: Do unto others as they would do for themselves if they were able.  Yes!  Hooray!  This concept felt so right for me.

The Golden Rule is like helping someone.  The Platinum Rule is being of service to someone.  I have worked in the nonprofit world for over 14 years.  I hope that I have made a positive impact on the lives of the clients or students I met along the way.   But, it was not until Cathy shared with us the premise of the Platinum Rule did I realize that more than anything I hope that I have been of service to those clients or students I have encountered along the way. 

Every one of us needs help once and while, we need the support of someone or something stronger or more equipped than we.  But, so often, we get in a big hurry to fix what is broken.   We want to make the pain or the hurt to go away, feel good about ourselves because we fixed it and then move on. 

The Platinum Rules requires more from each of us.  It requires to us to walk along side the person who is struggling, not just fix them.   Real healing happens with the Platinum Rule.  There is sustainability with platinum.  Platinum is stronger than gold.  Healing is deeper than fixing.  I am grateful I had the chance to attend Cathy’s workshop.