On Being Generous

I’ve had the privilege of having some very “generous” leaders in my life. They people have invested into my development, they’ve invested in my cause, and they’ve gone above and beyond to see me succeed, sometimes to the detriment of their own organizations. I could tell story after story of generous people that have come alongside me and my family over the years, and it’s humbling to just think about their sacrifice and the impact they have been able to have.

I want to be a generous leader. I want to do what so many others have done in my life. 

M Holmes shares: “The word ‘generosity’ is derived from the Latin word generõsus, which means ‘of noble birth.’ Saying someone was generous was saying they belonged to nobility. However, the meaning of the word began to change. Generosity came to identify not with family heritage but a noble spirit. You’ve been called to such a noble birth. not just to give but be a giver; not just be generous but live a life of generosity.”

Holmes goes on to share 4 characteristics of generous leaders. The titles are his, the comments are mine:

#1) They Lead by Example

Leaders are generous when they allow others IN. They model what needs to be done instead of simply telling others what to do. People are looking for someone worthy to follow. Let them see you lead, let them see you process, let them see you open yourself up.

#2) They Lead with Purpose

Leaders are generous when they have a focused purpose. This helps them pursue their passion, this helps them make a difference, this helps them to be able to measure their impact. A clear purpose is always connected to a generous leader.

#3) The See the Best in People

Leaders are generous when they are free with praise and affirmation, when they take the time to acknowledge those working around them and they spend their time building others up.

#4) They Share Their Time and Expertise

Leaders are generous when they make time for others, and  take the time to invest in others.

Holmes shares this thought: “Extensive research reveals that people who give their time and knowledge to help colleagues and subordinates this way end up earning more promotions and raises. And when givers put a group’s interest ahead of themselves, they build much deeper relationships, and often become highly valued within their own organization.”


You can be a generous leader. Realize that it’s not all about you. Look for the simple ways you can share your life. Realize that generosity is a gift and it should be shared.

“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” John Bunyan

Leadership Basics for Younger Leaders

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