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January 29, 2018

26 ways to success - G for Generosity - " A win-win for all" article published in The Hans India 18th March 2016

“A Win-Win for all”

Generosity is “Showing a readiness to give more of something, than what is strictly necessary or expected”.  A quality that we all think that we have but don’t have in abundance is generosity. That generosity is important and valued is not surprising. Generosity is a “nice-to-have” quality. If a person is generous, he/she probably is well liked. Simple, yet extremely powerful, generosity can make your career. Let us see two cases of extreme generosity.

1) Bill & Melinda Gates:  Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest private foundation in the world, founded by Bill and Melinda Gates. It was launched in 2000 and it is the largest private foundation in the world. The primary aim of the foundation is to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty globally. It has a total funding of US $ 44.3 billion (nearly 3,00,000 crore rupees). Out of this Bill Gates had donated US$ 28 billion (187,600 crore rupees).

2) Mark Zuckerberg:  On Dec 1, 2015 Mark Zuckerberg stunned the world when he announced that he was giving away 99% of his Facebook shares valued at $ US 45 billion (3,01,500 crore rupees) to charity. To put this amount in perspective the amount would be almost equal to three times Telangana’s annual budget. Truly mind boggling task of generosity.  Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, created the Chan Zuckerberg initiative. Its mission is to personalize learning, cure diseases, and connecting people.

Generosity of everyday life:  Always ask if someone has a moment to spare. Just because someone picks up the phone or has their door open doesn’t mean it’s a good time to talk. Before one starts a dialogue about a topic they should ask the others if they time to spare. Give them an “out” if its’ not a good time to catch up. Share credit easily. People love to be told they’re doing a great job. Go ahead and recognize a job well done or an extraordinary effort.

Always give the credit of any good performance to the team and take the responsibility of the failure. Assume collective responsibility for failure; assign individual praise for success.  This way the team would be very happy to work with the leader.

Generous leaders: share information readily, share credit often, and give of their time and expertise easily.  What is given will be returned back many folds.  When the generous leader shares information, he starts with what is new, different or important — so that his friends know the exact purpose of his conversation. He does not hide information. He keeps his team members posted on all the latest happenings and what’s coming next. He makes sure that all of his team has the entire information they need to make decisions.

The following are some of the stellar qualities of a generous leader.

1) Generous leaders are open to all ideas from their friends and colleagues even ones that are critical and offensive in nature.

2) Generous leaders praise other people for good work done. Everyone likes being appreciated. They Look-out for occasions to praise, to note the smallest accomplishment, and to encourage and mentor.

3) Generous leaders don’t blame others for their mistakes. They are gracious in accepting mistakes. It is said that a person who blames his mother, his country, his almamater and the company where he works in the job interview is not liked at all. ‘What you can do to others, will be done for us’ would be the thought process. Think about it! Food for thought.

4) Generous leaders celebrate small successes knowing that a culture of celebration renews mission and gives off positive vibes. It's also just a lot more fun to work with winners.

5) Generous leaders are humble and appear to be humble. But it's not enough to just sound and look humble. Humbleness should be deep rooted and ingrained. Generosity is the driving force of humility.

6) Generous leaders trust their colleagues. Organizations need to strongly signal that trust is the order of the day.

7) Generous leaders are patient.  They tend to give long rope to their team and they patiently help their team become better. They entrust colleagues to work diligently to a successful outcome.

8) Generous leaders are the ones who are willing to give up something or sacrifice something of their own for others. They put themselves at personal risk to open a path for others to follow.

9) Generous leaders do not hold grudges. Holding grudge is the very opposite of generosity. Grudges hurt the team and the culture. As a follow up of not holding a grudge is the ability to forgive.  Of course it isn't wise or possible always but when it works, everybody wins.

10) Generous leaders never use words like ‘my’ ‘my company’ "my MD’ or ‘my successful results’. They embrace ‘us’ and it is always ‘us’. This feeling of oneness with the group has to come from the heart it can’t be faked.

11) Generous leaders are great Listeners.  They listen with total attention. Listening is a powerful force.

12) Finally a generous leader works hard to keep his energy and moral continually at a very high level. The generous leader avoids burnout for his own sake and for the sake of others. He oozes energy, self-confidence and is a guy that everyone loves and admires.

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