As I have been dashing around this week in preparation for a family Christmas, I met Dawn Austwick from the Big Lottery Fund. She talked to me about her ideas on generous leadership. At this time of the year, perhaps it’s not surprising that the expression resonated with me.
I like it. I think it works on many levels. Leaders can be generous in many ways; for me generous leaders are the ones who are generous with the credit. They don’t take (with the emphasis on the word take) credit for achievements and results, they either allow others to take it or they actively hand it out.
When you choose a leader to work for, look for the generous ones; those who don’t need the plaudits and the praise. They are confident and secure enough to give others the credit; they realize there is plenty of joy in watching the successes of others and quietly knowing that they played a part in them.
When looking for partnerships, look for the organizations led by generous leaders. They don’t join forces with you for a win-win solution, just a great outcome regardless of who appears to ‘win’: a great outcome they won’t expect to take (or even steal) the credit for.
I hope that I am that kind of leader (at least sometimes). For the positive reasons and for the pragmatic reasons too. It means the best people will work for me. And it means they will always go the extra mile because they know it’s not all about me seeking credit.