A Practice in Generosity

Give More. Be Generous.

Many questions surface when we bring up generosity and leading with generosity. Let’s explore some of the questions and see what comes up for you.

  • What does it look like when we are generous in leading change? What is your first thought on this?
  • Does generosity pay off, or do we end up doing most of the work ourselves? Why? What is the payoff? Does the payoff serve the cause for change and for future change?
  • Is generosity in leading change a bribe, a payoff or an incentive? How is it? How is it not?
  • How does generosity work in leading change?
  • As the leader, what can I be generous with? What can’t I be generous with? What can others be generous with?

When we lead change and when we coach others who lead change, we explore generosity. Most of our clients see generosity as giving time, money and talents. We often explore these ideas with them and we talk about whose time, money and talents? Chasing those thoughts and beliefs eventually leads to a discovery and new belief: The most generous a leader can be is to allow others to identify how much of their own time, money and talent they will spend in support of a change. Leaders allow others to be successful with change, and they generously acknowledge others’ work and behaviors that create successful change.

There is a “common” way to lead change by being generous. “Common” leaders see themselves being generous in giving financial rewards and bonuses to their team, by giving their own plan, by giving a timeline they developed themselves, and by using only their own knowledge and skills to get their team through a change.  When a leader is so giving of themselves, they almost always rob their team of success. When the leader does the bulk of the work to get the change done, the change does not last, divides are created and people end up abandoning the change or finding work-arounds. In fact, this method works well for less than 20 percent of changes that rarely last enough to see a profit resulting from change.

A less common way of leading change is to be generous and intentional about learning, understanding and then giving each individual on your team what they need to make the change happen. This way of leading change gives opportunity, is successful about 75 percent of the time and yields higher than expected profits associated with the change. Individuals you lead are empowered and entrusted to spend their own time, money and talent at work, so change is ignited. Your team becomes enrolled in the cause for change, they identify ways to make that change work within their department budget (money) and each person will leverage their time (workday priorities) and talent (old and new knowledge and skills) to accomplish the changes that serve your organization.

If you would like to explore what leading change with generosity looks like to reach your business goals, contact us.  We specialize in generosity!