Is it just a buzz-word or does generosity really have a role to play in the work place?
Paid family leave; equal pay for equal work; living wages; unrestricted personal time off; corporate philanthropy; stock options; holiday bonuses; profit sharing… Aren’t these all good business rather than examples of generosity?
If motive is the bottom line, can you really claim Generosity?
Could we benefit from a little more generosity of time, expertise, patience, trust and spirit? How big of a difference could we make in the life or business of someone else by practicing a little generosity?
Could the economy even get a little boost if everyone behaved a little more generously instead of always focusing on their piece of the pie?
Or maybe generosity for its own sake has no place in our professional lives. Does it have no intrinsic value? Or can it even be detrimental to the work we do? I’ve got some thoughts on the subject. But I don’t know really.
My work requires that I spend a lot of time building social networks—online and in the real live world. Daily, in both worlds, I have to sort between what comes from a place of generosity and what is self-promotion or agenda-setting couched in the language of generosity. It can feel pretty crappy when it turns out that what seemed like a genuine offer of help or expression of appreciation turn out just to be the set-up for a an ask that’s already planned for down the road.
I like to think that a little generosity can’t hurt. Could it make us all a little happier to focus on a motive other than profit for just a little while? Is that enough of a reason to be more generous? Maybe just:
• Assume best intentions
• Share the good news of a business partner or colleague with your own networks—especially if there is nothing in it for you. No added value by association, no quid pro quo, no boost to your own status among your peers.
• Share your time and expertise with someone who needs a mentor, or maybe just needs a push in the right direction. Just because you can.
• Trust and behave as if you trust that your employees are doing the right thing; that your business partners are in it for the right reasons; that someone who spends two weeks on the road and takes a couple of days to spend with their family isn’t trying to beat the system.
• Do the right thing; be in it for the right reasons; spend time with your family after being on the road.
• Never waver in the conviction that a sick child, parent, or loved one is always, without exception, more important than a deadline. And behave accordingly.
• Let someone know that you noticed and appreciated something they created.
• Get out of your own head. Stop talking about yourself and your business for five minutes and focus on what you can do to help support your friends and colleagues.
Just something I was thinking about. Thanks for reading. I appreciate it.