Leaders Give Giving is a part of leading. The reciprocity of giving sets the standard for the culture and inspires others in the organization to step up to the bar defined by the leader. A giving culture is a culture that prompts synergy and collaboration. Here’s a dialogue on topics related to giving as leaders.
Leaders are transparent when and where appropriate. I believe the more reality financials people know the greater the opportunity is for buy-in, ownership and meaningful contribution by everyone. Giving of one’s self mentally can be lever- aged for greater ROI than merely writing a check. But whatever the contribution is, the immediate, intermediate and long term goal must be met. Caring is a critical grounding factor for people and the glue to bring people together. Great leaders must recognize that their first commitment is to the organization they serve and people second; meaning if an organization is not healthy, then no ‘people’ are served and thus sometimes a leader must make bold stands and take corrective action when an individual person becomes a cancer to the organization. Listening on all three psychological levels (Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic) allows leaders to have a dashboard of objective reality. When you listen on all 3 sensory levels, you connect and understand! Time is the great equalizer and once used it can never be regained. As a ‘leader’ how you chose to invest your time into people and endeavors is critical. Always ask, “what is the legacy of this interac- tion?” If you pause to find an answer, that is the answer. Your touch, influence and legacy as a leader are great and avoid those who would derail you! Leaders own the understanding of recog- nizing where their talent can be applied and leveraged. Developing and inspiring others to greatness is what a leader owns; managers can address the functionality later. I talk a lot about this in my newest book, The Managerial Leadership Bible (available at Barnes& Noble) and the “Player Capability Index” formula.
There are many ways that leaders give financially. Just giving money to rescue someone with a loan creates a negative dynamic. Giving raises and bonuses based on performance and contributions to the organization are certainly affirmation. Lead- ers who serve on nonprofit boards must be donors. This is a commitment and a tan- gible demonstration of that commitment. Giving to worthy causes is a part of being a person of influence. We champion the vision and lead the orga- nization in accomplishing that vision, but not at the cost of respecting individuals. Leadership is about relationship. Empa- thy, worry, and sympathy are not ways to care for those whom we lead. Those are not helpful to us as leaders or to those to whom we give those inappropriate emo- tions. Care about someone by asking them to function at the level they are able and take charge of themselves by managing self. A famous quote is that “listening is so close to loving that it’s hard to tell the differ- ence.” Listening is one of the most valuable leadership skills. Listening is giving others your attention. Listening effectively helps leaders know what’s really happening, which might not be defined in the words used. Listen for meaning and give feedback. Often we think money provides value when, in fact, those whom we lead just want us. Giving others our time is valuable, up to a point. Over-functioning on our part might be giving unlimited time. The reci- procity is that others just want more. Give time and set boundaries. Utilize the 80/20 rule by spending 80% of your time with the 20% who produce 80% of the results. Spend 20% of your time with the others, mostly in groups. There are things that only we can do. We give to others by modeling how to be effec- tive leaders and how to do things that are unique to us…it’s our talent. We excel in our areas of expertise and giving that skill to an organization, a community, or others is one of the most valuable gifts we can give.