“Everything I have—my life, my potential, my time—was given to me. I’ve decided to spend the rest of my life returning.”
– Charlie Jones, philanthropist
Have you heard of the six principles of leadership?
Well, one of them is the Power of Giving.
Giving is just one of the many things that great leaders do to improve themselves and get better every day (learn more about how—and why—they do that here).
But why do people give themselves, and how does giving make someone a good leader?
The Principles of Leadership: Why People Give Themselves
1. Giving teaches us to look beyond ourselves.
Giving breaks down our preoccupation with “self”. It reminds us that we are part of a larger community and that our navel is not the center of the universe.
A great leader understands that he or she is part of a larger team. This knowledge allows them to see the bigger picture beyond just themselves.
2. Giving teaches us to be of greater service in helping others.
Giving is an art that requires practice. What is the point of having physical and emotional reserves if you don’t share them?
A good leader not only practices giving, but they communicate, share their knowledge, and help others. Click here for some tips on how to better communicate like a leader.
3. Giving makes the world a better place.
Having a generous spirit is the strongest sour of good. Together, with capitalism, they make a powerful combination.
A leader with a generous spirit makes the world—and his team—better.
4. Giving makes us feel good.
We don’t do good because we feel good. We feel good because we do good.
People who want to make a positive difference in the world around them often wish to give of their time, expertise, money and/or skills.
Serving in any way is admirable—and it is important that we are willing to do so.
When we are leaders with unique skills and passions, we can have an even greater impact if we look at the ways we contribute that do the most good.
When you make the world better for others, you make the world better for yourself. This is one of the fundamental parts of the Principles of Leadership.
Leadership Action Points:
1. Practice giving without recognition.
True giving (and leadership) is about what one contributes rather than what one receives.
Sometimes serving anonymously is a great way to learn how to go beyond simply giving.
2. Determine how you can best contribute.
Few of us have the luxury to do only what we are best at or would like to do. How can you best contribute to others—and your team?
3. Give as a family.
By taking on a project together as a family, family members can spend quality time together while they work to help others.
You can also do the same with your team. Develop your relationship with your team members just as you would with your family. This will give you the results you are looking for—whatever they may be. You can learn more about the results and relationships in this blog post.
Mark Sanborn is a leadership keynote speaker and advisor to leaders based in Denver, CO.
To learn more about the six principles of leadership, take a look at any of my wide collection of resources, which offer invaluable advice about leadership, growth, how to be your own true success, and more. You can also consider reading my Extraordinary Living Journal – buy one, get one free!
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This post was originally published on January 10, 2015 and has been updated for 2019.