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“Every great leader has a generosity gene.” 6 ways to be generous in business.

“Every great leader has a generosity gene.” Jack Welch

We often associate the term generosity with do-gooders and nice folk, I challenge you, how often do we think about it in business?

We use the terms, confidence, integrity, passion, but I argue that we are missing one key quality from that list.

What is it?

Generosity is a concept focused on giving willingly; of your time, your expertise, extending your network to others and caring enough to make someone else successful first.

All of this, without expectations in return.

This concept can be individually, both building a personal brand, an authentic identity, or a corporate brand.


Author Jon Gordon said it well when he said, “Great leaders don’t succeed because they are great. They succeed because they bring out the greatness in others.”

Research has shown us that leaders who are generous, are:

- personally healthier, stronger, and more resilient people,

- quickly able to build trust and loyalty from clients, peers and employees, and

- able to build more capable and supported teams


I have 6 little things to try to start developing and growing your generosity,

1. Mentor

Being generous with your time and expertise will help expand the collective learning of those around you. You have personal brilliance (and opportunities to learn), that you have gathered over the years, don’t let that go to waste.

Those highs and lows are valuable, be vulnerable and honest about your mistakes, highlight your successes and offer guidance. Build up your bench.

2. Share information readily.

As yourself why do you feel the need to hoard information? Keep others posted on where thing stand or what is coming next, will show care and passion to collaborate. Not sharing can make you come across power-hungry and conniving.

3. Give the punchline first.

Time is precious, so lead with what’s new, different or important first, so people know the exact reason for your conversation. Especially when meeting someone new for the first time, be upfront with your interest in the connection.

4. Assume collective responsibility for failure; assign individual praise for success.

The Dallas Mavericks owner once made a comment about a star player’s missed game-tying free throw shot, saying “He made the first shot, and we missed the second.” Sport is a team sport, so is business. Assigning failure to one person, is never going to achieve the outcome you want, use the collective drive to affect change.

5. Think about the next step, so others don’t have to.

You will often hear me say, “don’t come to me with a problem, come to me with a solution”. It shows your investment and commitment to the outcome, and your passion to support the cause. If you can see the next step before someone, be forthcoming and ready with a plan of action.

6. Share Credit

People love to be told they are doing a great job. Go ahead and recognise a job well done or extraordinary effort. It does not cost you anything.

Key takeaways.

I like to be able to start people on a journey, with one tiny step, so think about these to begin your commitment to being more generous in business.

Personally, make someone’s day brighter, every single day.

As a company, make someone’s experience with your brand delightful.

At Blue Mercury Leadership, we are both CliftonStrengths and ECD accredited practitioners - using these two tools together creates both empathetic and strengths based teams.

If this is something that you or your team would like to understand more, please get in touch at our website we would love to help.


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