Leadership Thoughts – Generosity

Leadership Thoughts – Generosity

I had a conversation today with a work friend about a boss we used to work for. We’ve both moved on to new jobs, new companies, and new bosses. The conversation turned to reminiscing about the old days and some of the fun we had.

I reflected later on the fact that the jobs were tough, and the hours were long, and yet our memory was of the fun. I realized there were many aspects that triggered this feeling (teammates who worked well together, a challenging major project that implemented successfully, and recognition of our work), but one thing stood out for me that pulled it all together.

Our boss had been generous. I don’t mean showering us with gifts or additional bonuses of cash, but generous with his time and words. He was generous with praise, letting us know when we had accomplished something tremendous. He was generous with feedback, providing guidance, direction, and support when we were on the wrong track. He was generous with mentoring to help us prepare for the days when we wouldn’t be working together anymore and setting us up for future success. He was generous in the community taking part in small activities that mattered to the people. And he was generous with time. I’m sure he was busy and could have easily said “I don’t have time” to a request for an opinion, or a reference, or a coaching session.

But he never did. When he was talking to me, he was looking at me.

I learned many lessons from him that have helped me over the 15 years that have passed since I worked for him. I consciously try to mirror the generosity he also taught.

“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.”
— Simone Weil

Take the opportunity to be generous with your words and time this week just when someone you meet needs it. Girl geeks can do it.

Have a great week.

~ Kelley

6 Comment

  1. Jullie says: Reply

    I had a generous boss once too. She was great and it had a huge impact on my outlook and career. Lucky me! Great observation and good reminder

    1. Kelley says: Reply

      You are a great leader as you are also a lifelong learner. Share your strength Jullie with other girl geeks.

  2. VK says: Reply

    So nice of you to share. You have always been a transformational leader. One note as I look back: Bosses should let go/ give some compassion to passionate employees who are border line unprofessional as they trust their leaders so much that they loose decorum and loose context as if they are talking to their parents and feel they are totally insulated! Yes, some resources are like that! Such well meaning resources who sit in a quiet cornered silo are sometimes those who can really make the ends meet in large corporations. Your posts rejuvenate our minds with good thoughts!

    1. Kelley says: Reply

      I agree. Sometimes the quiet ones just need encouragement and support. Let’s all help them get it. Thanks for the thoughtful comment VK.

  3. Larissa says: Reply

    I had a generous boss once too who did her best to teach me how to be a better leader. She always made time for me, and was patient when she had to remind me of lessons I had learnt but was not putting into practice. I do my best to keep all those lessons in mind today, and pass them on to my team members. I count myself very lucky to have worked for her. And I still get those reminders when I read her blog!

    1. Kelley says: Reply

      You’ve grown so much Larissa. And now you are teaching others. Go girl geek.

Leave a Reply