Leaders Who Give

The most successful manager has a range of skills at their disposal and vary their approach related to the individual or team that they are working with at any particular moment. What makes a truly successful manager stand out from others is the way in which they actively give items away to help with the development of their people.

Generosity is not about wealth or physical items transferring from one person to another; managers transfer things that do not have pure monetary value but their value is beyond a mere price. Giving someone an opportunity to develop and grow, to gain new skills or to give someone the benefit of the doubt are invaluable in stimulating and motivating that individual in their career development but they also have very positive outcomes for the organisation itself. In this way managers will attract people who want to work for them, not merely just to do a particular job or task. Permission to make mistakes and to learn from them is a priceless gift which gets repaid many times over both through individual development and organisational growth. A leader with a generous spirit delegates not just routine work, but understands about delegating worthwhile work that becomes a gift of development and growth for someone else.

To put this into action with some relatively small steps perhaps try adopting the following principles in the way you work with colleagues and staff.

Give people a sense of importance 
Having a role to play that has value is a critical tool in building trust and rapport in the workplace. Make sure that people know, and receive, regular messages, that their role is valued, that they contribute to the greater organisation and that what they do is important to many different colleagues.

Give feedback, not criticism
If giving frequent criticism is your style of management, consider some of these questions: Is your motivation genuine, or is it to gain points? Are you picking the right moment? Are you stopping to reflect how you might deliver the feedback while still valuing the other person?

Give people visibility
Make sure that staff who are not in the spotlight actually get to be in the spotlight. Visibility is an important factor in increasing morale and motivation. Publish good work, sing their praises and consider how they feel living in the shadows. Be a strong advocate for the unseen members of staff who never get exposure to senior managers.

Know when to forgive
Do not get held back by damaging thoughts and bearing a grudge when the more mature, and generous thing to do would be to move on and consign that to the bin. This directly benefits the member of staff concerned and is an unseen gift of a high order.

Give encouragement
Look around you and pick someone who needs encouragement, and resolve to give them that. Then watch then grow and develop.

Give opportunity
One of the most valuable gifts we can give someone is giving them a chance. Is there someone right now to whom you could give a second chance to prove themselves? If so, what active steps can you take to create the right circumstances for them to succeed? What doors can you open for someone who is well deserving, but not well positioned to be noticed?

Share your knowledge and experience
Resolve to become a philanthropist of know-how. What knowledge, expertise, or best practices can you share with others as a way to enrich them?

Give moral support

Seek out those that need a lift and give advice and guidance on that very difficult issue they are wrestling with. This is not about doing the feared task for them, more it is about perhaps advising on the strategy needed to make this a success. Public speaking is known to be among the greatest fears experienced by millions of people. The next time you attend a presentation given by an apprehensive team member, practice giving them some much-needed moral support.

Can you honestly say that you have never been the keen recipient of a gift from one of your managers? Remember how grateful and appreciative you were?

It is time to return the honour; bear in mind that the more you give the more you will get back in return.

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