‘Tis the season to be merry and with that comes a wave of generosity and kindness. Leaders need to take note, however, that generosity is a quality that they should share year round.
When we talk about generosity in leadership, we’re not referring to money. This isn’t about bonuses or increases. It’s about an enduring generosity of spirit, which infuses how a leader will affect their team members.
How can a leader display generosity? So many ways!
Being generous with time
A leader who will not share their time, a notably precious commodity, cannot possibly be effective. If every point of access is blocked and no one can score an ‘audience’, there’s no effective leadership going on. Yes, a leader will be busy but making time available for those that need it is a cornerstone of good leadership.
Being generous with knowledge and information
Many companies, through their leaders, breed a culture of competition. While knowledge IS power, knowledge shared can be even better. People will not improve their skills by competition and fear. They will get there through collaboration.
It’s vital for leaders to encourage information sharing among their staff. Success comes from the growing of one idea with the contributions of others, not by working in a silo. Sharing, teaching and supporting your team is how you can be generous with your knowledge.
Being generous with encouragement and empowerment
Encouraging team members to work together, empowering them to make decisions, creating a safe environment for collaboration and teamwork. These are all vital aspects of being an effective leader. It’s not about micromanaging tasks: it’s about getting team members to take initiative and contribute.
Communication suffers if team members are working to get attention instead of working for the good of the team. If co-workers are prone to blame one another, this can be traced back to generosity, or a lack of it.
Being generous also shows confidence
Being confident is another notable leadership quality and being generous is the natural result. If you’re confident in your abilities and leadership, you will be naturally generous. If you’re not, you’ll tend towards being competitive and disruptive. The two qualities go hand in hand. Generous actions show your team that you are confident in your skills.
Generosity is catching too. If others see you behaving in a generous way, they will model your attitude. As with all aspects of leadership, modeling the behavior you want to see from your team is ideal.
Generosity is essential to strong, effective leadership. Cultivate it in yourself, in your team and you’ll see your bottom line improving, however you measure it.