leadership roundtable hq

Be The Generous Leader


Let me share with leaders what I can consider to be ways to give yourself for everyone i.e. being the generous leader. I don’t mean been stupid, but real sacrifice as a leader.

We live in a VUCHA (Volatile, Uncertainty, Chaos, and Ambiguous) world. Very disruptive indeed. In VUCHA and disruptive world, leaders need more than ordinary IQ or technical skills.

the generous leader
the generous leader

Doubtless, leaders have always been known for the results they deliver. For many years, it was single-focused depending on sector leader is in.  For instance , in the business world – return on shareholder investment is the criterion; in the government – growth in the economy or GDP is predominantly a measure; and in the nonprofit space – it’s ability to raised funds. Maybe in Institutions of learning, it’s ability to build more classrooms and increase Students intake and graduation number. Too many funny yardsticks, isn’t it? Still follow keenly!

What actions and traits delivered those results? I mean the results of being #1, #2, or #3 in your sector?

Absolutely meeting customers’ needs. And customer in these areas, you know, differ of course. Let me call it EFFECTIVENESS.
Another, maybe highly efficient operations. Let’s call this EFFICIENCY.
But also, a cutthroat focus on delivering that efficiency with a heavy dose of leadership-centric, almost selfish behaviour from the boss. Come on, don’t miss my flow.
One Consultant Joe Davis, Managing Director and Senior Partner at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and former Head of BCG in North America, says that the often-cited heroes of business drove the numbers, led from the top, and built command and control organizations. These three phrases; drove the numbers, led from the top, and built command and control organizations are not good compliments to a good lead talk less of a great leader…but they are the sung heroes and heroines of the business world even political world.

Joe wrote a book called the Generous Leader. In his book, The Generous Leader: 7 Ways to Give of Yourself for Everyone’s Gain, Davis explains why, in today’s disruptive world, leaders need more than technical skills.

the generous leader
the generous leader

“Yes, you must deliver results,” Davis says, “but people today want generous leaders who will work to see beyond themselves – you must learn to lead with your heart”. Joe is right: the heart is the seat of affection, feeling for humans and humanity, not obsessed of achieving the greatest, the richest, and the mifghtest.  In today’s leadership, people rob Peter to pay Paul. Joe in the book says, “Being vulnerable with your staff is intimidating, but connecting with your people will not only help you grow as a leader and a person, but will also grow your business as well.”

As Joe explains, “there have been, of course, many great leaders who were admired and respected for taking a broad view. They focused on the numbers but also cared deeply for people and were concerned about their company’s impact on the community. Observe that Joe’s statement: … but also cared deeply for people… company’s impact on the community. It shows people-oriented leadership also. “They existed, but this type of generous leader, who put their heart at the forefront of their leadership, was rarely visible,” Joe attests. “This broad view of leadership was not in fashion and was not considered a model for success.”

the generous leader
the generous leader

Attributes of Being a Generous Leader

There are four key attributes of being a generous leader:

1. Be Prepared and Do the Deep Thinking
Do not assume you know what others might bring to a meeting, roundtable or conversation. Avoid mentally putting them in the box in which you typically see them. “Really think and understand what others might be thinking, why they are doing the things they are doing, why others should care about your point of view, what you are bringing that is value-added, or why a plan might not work for other people,” Joe says. “Think about these in advance, and then give others the respect of valuing their time and knowledge.” Think of it before the meeting day. Think and ruminate on it critically, analytically, laterally/horizontally, vertically, strategically, even focusedly, etc. Think, think, think.

2. Connect Personally and Deeply

Communicating to connect may neither come naturally nor easy, especially as we start our careers; we think more about conveying the information and facts we believe we must get across. But Joe argues that you can get those facts across and still be true to yourself and your message without  losing an aorta. In fact, with all the skepticism out there, communicating that you care and making deep personal connections when delivering important messages is essential to building better-connected teams. This becomes essential to leading your organization to greatness, given that you cannot, of course, do it alone.

the generous leader
the generous leader

3. Be Curious. Be Voracious. Be Interested.

Generous listening is about setting yourself aside to make room for the way someone else is thinking and speaking. It’s an openness and an active setting aside from our own experiences and beliefs to believe in another way of being, another person’s way of seeing the world. Of course, you can never fully understand another’s experience, and claiming to, in fact, can be hurtful. Consider that you don’t know what you don’t know. As you ask and try to understand another’s point of view, be attuned to whatever information, facts, and insight they can offer that can be added to what you do know.

4. Welcome Everyone On Board

When you have an opportunity to bring others into a conversation, you are inviting collaboration, brainstorming and interactions. You are recognizing the value of another’s person’s input or contributions. In this case, Joe means all voices. “Those at more junior levels, who have relevant expertise, those in different parts of the organization who have perspectives unique to your team, and those from diverse backgrounds and life experiences who are often left out and will bring a richness to the thinking.” This practice can happen at any leadership level. It’s less about hierarchy and more about valuing input.

the generous leader
the generous leader


When you connect deeply and personally with your colleagues, show humility, and be genuine, you can better understand their perspectives and uncover what you don’t know about them. By infusing your heart and humanity into your leadership style, you will become a more generous leader, and the people you manage will become free to perform at their best. The ultimate outcome will be more effective contributions from all to your organization’s purpose and mission.

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Dr Mike Ihezuo

Content Creator

Mike is a leader and leader’s developer, a speaker, an author and a prolific writer, a researcher and consultant. He invests life, time, energy, resources and money to empowering organizations desiring upward dive to top performance and individuals desirous of fulfilling their destinies, discovering purpose and seeking success towards significance. Mike, as a life coach, team builder, conflict resolutions exponent, motivational maestro, negotiation experts, corporate strategist, an entrepreneur and entrepreneurial developer, invites you to this LeadershipRoundTableHQ. Let’s talk and discuss so as to learn and GROW…


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