Generous leaders often ask themselves, “how can I contribute to others each and every day? How can I help someone else reach his/her goals? How can I use my talents to serve others? In his book, Who’s Got Your Back? author Keith Ferrazzi writes that “we are all leaders in our own lives” (2009, p. 17). Indeed by the pure definition of leadership, we all are considered leaders. Many leadership theories refer to the ability of the leader to serve others, transform lives, and make a difference in the world we live in (Baggerly-Hinojosa, 2011). How generous are you with your leadership skills?
Ferrazzi (2009) lists generosity as the first mind-set for effective leadership in today’s competitive environment. He states that the first step in being a generous leader is to understand what each of us have to offer one another. We all have skills, traits, knowledge, etc. that we can share with others. Ferrazzi (2009) identifies two currencies leaders have. The first is Universal Currency and describes our ability to connect to others no matter who they are. Leaders are able to use Universal Currency through the leadership skills of listening, empathy, and compassion. The second currency identified by Ferrazzi is referred to as Personal Currency. Personal Currency requires leaders to constantly be searching for what makes others happy and how the leader can contribute to that happiness. In order to use Personal Currency effectively, leaders must build close relationships with others in order to really know what they need and what they want.
Greenleaf (1970) coined the term Servant Leadership to describe a leadership style that promotes serving others first and foremost. Subsequent researchers have identified ten characteristics that describe Servant Leaders (Spears, 2010). The ten characteristics commonly used to promote and train servant leaders are: listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, growth of people, and building community. When leaders focus and train in these ten characteristics, they are able to build the skills that will allow them to influence their followers in order to possibly create working environments where customer service is a high priority and workers are committed staying at the organization long term. Servant Leadership could then lead to organizational outcomes that allow for success and attainment of goals.
Generous leaders are leaders who serve others first and foremost. Helping others reach their goals is one way effective leaders can make a difference in this world.
Baggerly-Hinojosa (2010). Are you a 10? The ten characteristics of a servant leader. Lulu.com
Ferrazzi, K. (2009). Who’s Got Your Back? New York: Broadway Books.
Greenleaf, R. (1970). The servant as leader. USA