Does Your Generosity Inspire?
“I gave to you, now, you give to me, I’d like to know what you learned.” ~ Neil Young
Are you generous? Generosity is an important quality of today’s new kind of leadership. How so? If you are a strong leader in a corporate sense, you offer support and growth opportunities for your less experienced colleagues or reports without expectation. You are a mentor to the Millennials and Gen Z’s who look to you, their boss or someone of influence within the organization, for direction and advice. In an informal sense of leadership, if you are really good at networking and generous, you make introductions without counting on a particular response.
In social psychology, the “cycle of reciprocity” speaks of giving with an abundance mindset that expects nothing specific in return but honors the goodness and joy of enriching someone else’s life. You can give empathy, support, resources, recognition, make introductions, give physical gifts, etc.
For the industries that serve as models for today’s leadership and for those companies that are heralded as bastions of good leadership, chances are there are people in executive positions who exhibit generosity. In fact, they might have been promoted because of this adjective and even hired because of it. In a company that celebrates leadership, an executive is expected to encourage, train and develop individuals in their team to become stronger leaders. You may find it in their job description. There’s the understanding that their team members are the succession plan for the company in the near future.
In the past, this was true for a lot of industries: law, advertising, consulting, architecture, real estate, entertainment and the list goes on. Unfortunately, nowadays the best leaders want to go where they are recognized and compensated for their skills so there tends to be a monopoly in smaller businesses and technology companies. If you look at the best places to work in Crain’s or Fast Company, these businesses always lead the way.
On a personal basis, if you are someone who sees connections and how people can work together with mutual benefit, you are special. And if you take it further to speak with both contacts to get their reaction on a potential introduction and then make it happen, you are a good networker. Taking this to the next degree, if you continue to do this with many others unconditionally because you are thoughtful and it makes you feel productive, useful and makes you smile, you are generous. As Linda and Charlie Bloom in an article in Psychology Today would say, “when I give freely, uncoercively, and unconditionally to another, my own well-being is enhanced, regardless of how they respond. It’s the trust that the return to me comes through my act of giving, not as a result of it.”
Regardless of whether you are a formal or informal leader (maybe even both), your generosity is the ignition that makes things happen for companies and human beings. You are the engine for progress in business and in personal development. Because of this you deserve to be celebrated. The world, the economy, your industry and organization, your professional associations and associates need more people like you. Whether you see yourself as someone who is making a difference, I see it. Celebrating you.
The world needs more generous leaders.
If you are in a position to bring forth good change, encouragement, and growth, particularly if you are not working in a small business or technology company – you want full access to your potential. You company needs you. Make the choices you need to be the leader that advocates change to look forward to. That change which engages your people, improves productivity and highlights the abilities of your team members.
If you would like to have a conversation on how you can get results with authenticity, continual learning and kindness, contact me: Susan@SusanGoldbergLeadership.com