Are you generous?

Image: Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As I write this, I think of the gift I received today. A great friend purchased the book 50 Jobs in 50 States by Daniel Seddiqui and had it mailed to me. It was not a large purchase but it is something that has struck me.

Here is a young, married person with a young child. She saw fit to bless me with a book I have wanted but had not had a chance to purchase. This encourages me to be a better friend and to pay it forward.

This has made me think about generosity.

What am I willing to give? How much am I willing to give? To whom am I willing to give it?

At times, my answer to these questions make me feel ashamed. There are times I do not want to give. There are things I do not want to give. There are people I do not want to give to.

If you haven’t any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble.
— Bob Hope

Being generous is a trait that is needed in your leadership.

Think of leaders who are generous. Names like Bill Gates, Milton Hershey, Michael Dell, or Warren Buffett spring to mind. They donate to charities, build hospitals, and help the poor.

What are the benefits of generosity?

  • Generosity attracts talent
    Talented people want to be recognized. They know that generous leaders are more willing to show recognition. So, be generous and attract the best talent for your team.
  • Generosity motivates your team
    When your team knows that you are willing to give and reward their efforts, they want to reciprocate. It increases their morale and makes them trust you more.
  • Generosity makes others want to reciprocate
    Generosity is not a one way street. After you give, most people like to reciprocate in one way or another. Reciprocation should not be your motivation for being generous, but it is a side effect.

If we should deal out justice only, in this world, who would escape?  No, it is better to be generous, and in the end more profitable, for it gains gratitude for us, and love.
— Mark Twain

Ways to be generous:

  • Be generous with your time
    You can be generous with your time. Look for places and charities that you can volunteer at. Not only will you be helping others, you will be developing character in yourself.
  • Be generous with your money
    This is most likely the first thing you think of when you hear the word Generosity. In almost all situations, you are better off financially than someone else. Be willing to give your money to those who are less fortunate. You may be the one to help them get back on their feet and do great things.
  • Be generous with your knowledge
    I feel this is the most important asset to be generous with. When you pass your knowledge on to others, you increase their ability to produce. It is like the old saying “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.”

Question: How could you be more generous? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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