One question I commonly get asked as a coach is “What is the most important trait for a strong leader?”. My response is Generosity. Generosity is commonly overlooked; however it is a critical skill for any successful leader because it helps the organization build skills, trade talent and grow more quickly.
A common theme we see in the workplace is lack of generosity due to fear. A classic example of this is an “Indispensable Leader”. An indispensable leader has learned a lot of new things about the company over the years, and has created brilliant new methods in their role. However, rather than sharing this information with other employees an indispensable leader keeps all of their knowledge to themselves.
This behavior is due to their fear that if someone else can replace them, they may lose their job. This is a common problem that affects many workplaces. Many leaders think that it is beneficial to keep information to themselves but do not realize that by practicing generosity and sharing their wealth of knowledge they add considerable value to the company and leave a foundation to follow for future employees.
By acting as an indispensable leader, you are almost forcing the company to keep you in your current position. This could potentially eliminate room for growth as you become the only one that can do your current job. Committing to generous leadership gives you room for growth.
In addition, when you are generous with your time, your ideas, your support and your knowledge, the company benefits. Generosity helps an organization transfer knowledge, ideas and resources. It brings speed and new capability for growth.
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