Lately I’ve been paying more attention to the actions, words, and behaviors of the business world. Observing acts of kindness and generosity. Watching folks give their time, talent, ideas and coaching to others. Providing insights and perspectives that make a positive impact in someone’s life.
The world of business can be difficult at times. It may even be difficult most times. We live in a hyper competitive environment where the rule of thumb has always been to outshine those around you. If I can just outperform, over deliver, sell the most, build the coolest this-or-that, I’ll be vaulted to the top. That was then…
Today, the there’s another way to shine, be seen, rise to the top, and excel. It’s a paradigm shift, and perhaps a shift some either don’t believe in or feel is too soft. That shift revolves around being generous.
Generosity isn’t a weakness. It’s not about being soft. Being generous demonstrates the ultimate control. You’re in control of your choices, actions and decisions. You choose where to spend your time and where not to spend it. Generosity is about both quality and quantity…the two MUST be tied together to be a generous act. Giving someone a mountain of feedback without any guidance or coaching as to how they might use that feedback isn’t being generous. It’s also not showing great leadership either but that’s for a different day. Generosity comes from being “genuinely” concerned for another.
Think of those who have helped you in life and your career. Can you think of someone who helped you for no reason at all? Perhaps someone who took an interest in you and at the time you couldn’t understand why? It appeared then that they would have had nothing to gain by helping you but they did anyway…willingly giving their time and attention to you.
Can you think of a person like that? I can. Several. And without exception, every one of them is super successful with reputations as strong leaders, mentors, confidants, and friends. They’ve filled their buckets by helping those around them and by doing so their successes multiplied. We all know that one person at work who everyone loves. They never have a bad word to say about anyone. They are trusted by everyone and intimidated by no one. Without seeking power, they’ve acquired it through their generosity. They use that power to help others, foster relationships, calm storms, and generate new ideas.
Think about how generous you are. It’s not about money…it’s far more than that. It’s about giving something much more valuable than money. It’s about giving some of yourself to others. Gandhi said, “Be the change you want the world to see.” Start small and see the difference it makes.