What is generous leadership?

Here is a big word one does not hear every day: “Magnanimous”. Magnanimousness is defined as: “the quality of being kind and generous.” When we think of generosity, our thoughts automatically drift to gifts of money or charity. In the context of leadership, there are other gifts that don't have a monetary value, but whose value is beyond price. A leader who is generous with information, power, and well-deserved compliments empowers workers. The atmosphere created helps motivate them to do more for the organisation and for each other. Generous leadership inspires generosity in your team, so everyone gives their personal best.

People want leaders to be generous with knowledge, time, credit, power, information, and faith; it's really hard to trust and fully support a leader who's stingy, who seems to be in competition with you, or who doesn't believe in your potential. The most powerful force in business isn’t greed, fear, or even the raw energy of unbridled competition. The most powerful force in business is generosity. It’s what will help the people grow and become stronger. It’s what will give you a sense of meaning and satisfaction in your work, which will help you do your best work.

At Omni HR Consulting, being generous is not optional, it is at the heart of our culture and one of our foundational principles. A principle is defined as timeless, unchangeable, and a guaranteed life enriching way of living when practiced. Principles are about human behavior and governs the interaction between our people. The Principle of Generosity is to aspire to give generously of our financial, material and human resources, to be kind and support our people. Our people include our staff, learners, suppliers, customers and the community. Making a difference in the lives of others is a responsibility we as a team collectively share; however, influencing a culture starts with the leadership setting the example. Generosity creates chains of events that trigger upward spirals that transform communities. In other words, give to your people, and change the world. It’s undeniable. Generous leaders win.

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed" - Proverbs 11: 25

John Holmes said: “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” Generosity evokes generosity and it makes you want to reciprocate in kind.  You will notice that leaders who practice generosity create teams where information flows more freely; people reach beyond their job descriptions to support each other and team members celebrate each other’s successes.

To be a more generous leader, remember the 5 T’s of giving:

Giving of your Time is having an open-door policy, being present and giving of yourself to others to help them in a time of need or to advance them on their journey to success. It is also about ensuring that you not make others feel rushed, scheduling regular meetings with people you are leading so they feel your interest in supporting them. Scheduling community service days for individuals or the team.

Giving of your Talent is to use what you are good at to serve others, sharing your experiences and transferring your skills through coaching.

Giving of your Treasures is to have an openhandedness with information and resources others need to do their job. Its sharing of power and authority by giving people responsibility. It is also giving praise and ensuring that fellow team members share credit for team and business successes and sharing financial rewards when they are received.

Giving of the Truth is to give constructive, regular and honest feedback. It’s also important to share information about strategy and the future of the company as it creates a more inclusive atmosphere and encourages openness and collaboration. Don’t let all the brilliance you’ve gathered over the years go to waste. Your professional highs and lows are equally valuable to those just starting out in the workplace.

Giving of your Touch is to build relationships. Make time to ask questions, to listen and show you value their input. Make it about them, make intentional eye contact and show you care about their goals’ and dreams.
Making a positive difference in your workplace is as simple as being generous with your time, talents, treasures, the truth and your touch. As a leader in business, you are given the chance every day to make a difference in the lives of those around you. It’s good for your people—and it’s good for you, too.

By Megan Hultzer, Corporate Social Responsibility Executive at Omni HR Consulting