Generosity – by leaders, employees, and organizations large and small – is growing in importance.

Younger generations are inspired by workplaces that give back to their communities. Deloitte’s 2017 Millennial study found that opportunities to be involved with “good causes” at the local level, many of which are enabled by employers, provide millennials with a greater feeling of influence.

I spoke recently with two thought leaders I highly respect – Tamara McCleary and Susan Baroncini-Moe – about effective leadership. They both described the vital importance of generosity in leaders – particularly in senior leaders, those who drive the culture of their organization.

Tamara said that, “Very simply, great leaders are inspiring, generous, kind, and authentic. They care.” She described how top leaders drive feelings of validation, contribution, cooperation, and service every day. “People want to believe in a senior leader and in the direction of the company – purpose and values,” she said.

Susan described a conversation with a CEO at an organization that’s regarded as a great place to work. One of their company values is generosity. She asked him how they interview candidates for this “generosity” factor. He said, “We’re somewhat indirect. We ask questions like ‘when was the last time you took someone out for coffee – and paid – just because you like to hang out with that person?’ That gives us insights into whether they act with generosity on a regular basis.”

In today’s three-minute episode of my Culture Leadership Charge video series, I explain how a generous spirit is great but it doesn’t always translate to generous plans, decisions, and actions – and I describe what I learned from Tamara and Susan about acting with generosity.

My Culture Leadership Charge series features short (two-to-three-minute) videos that describe proven culture leadership and servant leadership practices that boost engagement, service, and results across your work teams, departments, regions, and even your entire company.

Each episode’s “charge” is a challenge for everyone in your organization – not just leaders – to refine their behaviors and ensure everyone is treated respectfully at all times.

You’ll find my Culture Leadership Charge episodes and more on my YouTube channel. If you like what you see, please subscribe!

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To what degree is your current boss actively generous? How do you demonstrate active generosity daily at home and work? Share your insights on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

S. Chris Edmonds

Chris helps leaders create purposeful, positive, productive work cultures. He's a speaker, author, and executive consultant. He blogs, podcasts, and video casts. He is the author of two Amazon bestsellers: Good Comes First (2021) and The Culture Engine (2014).
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