Generosity of Influence
Whether parenting a toddler or leading a Fortune 500 company, generosity can be a strong form of influence for any leader.
Generosity exhibits and sets an example for other honorable character traits such as humility and servanthood. These traits are not only appealing to us as people, but they are affirmed by our loving heavenly Father.
When God’s people give as an act of worship, we display an aspect of His character. When we freely give because we have freely received, we glorify God and display His character traits to a world that desperately needs them. Because He has freely met our needs, we can help meet the needs of others. As Mother Teresa expressed, “At the heart of God is generosity.”
Influence starts—not with the size of the gift but when the nature of one person impacts the life of another. We tend to think of generosity as primarily giving money, but it’s often far more valuable to give our time, our life experience, and our belongings. It’s not just the generous act but modeling a character trait that can be reproduced and multiplied into the lives of others. Who do you want to influence? Be generous to them and around them.
In any way you lead others—from grandparent to grade school principal; corporate leader to Tee-ball coach—generosity influences others to consider their perspective on life. Your opportunity to put your influence into action comes as you generously give of yourself.
Here are three powerful ways you can be generous in your relationships to increase trust, mutual respect, and benefit.
1. Affirmation: Express respect or appreciation to someone for their strengths, convictions, or competencies. Let them know you see their contribution. Affirmed people have a sense of security that builds their confidence; confident people tend to enjoy making their contribution to a family, community, workplace, etc.
2. Hearing for understanding: Our culture urges us to multi-task while people around us are hungry to be heard. Consider generously stopping a task and simply listening to the heart of another. How would our world change if this became contagious in our families, churches, and daily interactions?
3. Life skills: We can provide others with an increased opportunity to succeed if we will freely share from our competencies. Consider sharing your competency or skill with someone, rather than doing it for them.
–Jerry Meadows, VP, US Partner Relations
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