The Secret to Leading With Impact: The More You Give, The More You Get
Stop and think for a moment. When was the last time someone generously gave to you without expecting anything in return? Maybe when you were younger someone donated time, energy, and resources to help you succeed.
Now ask yourself another question:
When was the last time I went the extra mile to help someone who may not be able to pay me back?
Believe it or not, this is one of the most important steps to leading with impact.
Entrepreneurs, leaders, and business school grads hear it all the time — you’ve got to give value first, then people will buy from you. But you might also hear the opposite — don’t give away too much. So, how much is too much?
Connie Bobo, CEO of Mind Your Mission, says the more you give, the more you get. Working with nonprofit organizations to increase sustainability and secure long-term funding, she is something of an expert here. I asked her to share with us her secret ingredient for leading with impact: generosity.
People like people.
At its core, leadership is about connecting with people. The truth is that human beings are social creatures and we’re hardwired to do business with people we like. So when you generously give without expecting anything in return, you win! Connie says:
It’s true that generosity doesn’t always result in reciprocity. The person you give to might not be the one who directly gives back to you. Does this mean you won’t get anything in return? Absolutely not. For one thing, you’ll become a better person — more attuned to the needs of others around you — and there are huge business benefits that come as a result of empathy.
Studies show that employees, especially Millennials, want to feel valued at work. They report wanting more of a say in their company policies, too. So if you’re a manager or the leader of a nonprofit, look for ways to create a more empathetic work environment:
To begin building an empathetic culture, identify ‘connectors’ and recruit them to your cause. This will not only increase your chances of success, but it’s also an opportunity for employee recognition, which can increase morale.
From scarcity to abundance.
In addition, when you cultivate generosity, you also shift your mindset away from scarcity and toward abundance. Just as generosity attracts an abundance of other people, a generous mindset attracts an abundance of wealth. Says Connie:
This isn’t magic. I lost everything I had twice and it was a daily struggle to find ways to be generous. But as long as I focused on giving anything I had above what I needed, I found my way to others who were just as generous.
Whether or not you believe in the law of attraction or manifesting, taking consistent actions toward who you want to be and what you want to accomplish will help you believe it. When you’re focused on what you can give, you have no choice but to adopt the belief that your needs have been met. You can’t give when you don’t have. So generosity and the feeling of abundance come together as a package deal.
And when you have an abundance mindset, you see your work or business in a totally different light. Suddenly the question you’re asking is not “Can I afford this?” but “How can I make this work?” You’ve shifted out of a fixed mindset and into a growth mindset, which is inherently good for business.
Generosity is about more than time and money.
Now that you see how generosity is the secret ingredient for leading with impact, let’s talk action!
Maybe you’ll find time in your schedule to meet with high-performing women on your team to mentor them and develop their leadership skills. Or maybe you’ll make a donation to a nonprofit organization whose cause you believe in, or invest in a startup trying to raise capital for a great business venture. Whatever your choice, decide how you’ll make giving a priority in your life and work.
As Connie says:
Remember too, generosity is about so much more than time and money.
Generosity can also be about:
- Sharing ideas and inspiration.
- Offering support and encouragement.
- Recognizing the good work others do.
- Giving your attention to every interaction.
- Making your colleagues, your barista, and your neighbors smile.
Here are some ways you can practice the spirit of giving as a business leader:
- Cultivate a culture of positivity, passion, energy, and empathy.
- Share your insights, experience, and wisdom with your team and other leaders.
- When networking, be generous with your strategies and ideas, especially when talking to those who might benefit from your expertise.
- Make yourself available before and after meetings for questions or concerns.
- Step back and make space for others to contribute to the conversation if you often do the steering.
Generosity is the secret ingredient for leading with impact. Give it a try today and watch for what flows back to you!
Jenny Johnson works for Brava Digital Marketing.
Connie Bobo, CEO of Mind Your Mission, helps nonprofit organizations increase their sustainability and secure long-term funding. She has helped dozens of churches and nonprofits increase their capacity, secure funding, and drive impact in their community. Click here to learn more about her transformational program.
Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.
Start your free membership to continue reading and learning from people who want to help you succeed.Sign up for free