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The power of a generous leader

June 9, 2015

Tim Sanders is Yahoo’s former Chief Solutions Officer. He’s also a best-selling author and a member of the faculty at our Global Institute for Leadership Development® in Palm Desert, CA, this fall. And as you’ll see in this excerpt from a widely shared story he wrote in Fast Company recently, his approach to leadership and success in business is both refreshing and insightful.

“In my first job out of high school, when I was barely 18 years old, I had one of the best bosses out there,” he writes. “Lewie had no reason to give me special attention. He had no reason to be interested in my success. Yet over and over again, he mentored me, believed the best in me, and gave me wisdom, resources, and ideas when it didn’t benefit him in the least.

“At least once a week, Lewie would take me out to lunch or drinks and drill me with questions. He rarely ever told me the right answer—he just asked insightful questions that made me rethink my decisions or actions. And with each conversation, I grew a little bit more.

“Lewie was a generous leader.

“When I think of Lewie and other generous leaders I’ve had the opportunity to imitate, several traits come to mind. Generous leaders:

  • Want their people to succeed.
  • Are not competitive with their team.
  • Have an open-door policy (generous with their time).
  • Would rather err on the side of grace than be just or strict with policies.
  • Have an open hand.
  • Freely share what they are learning.
  • Love to give away credit to others even when they could rightly keep it for themselves.
  • Care about their team. They know about each team member’s goals and dreams, and diligently try to help them fulfill those desires.”

Continue reading.

There are lots of excuses for being a selfish leader. And we all can tell horror stories of what it’s like to work with one. So be honest. Are you a generous leader? Or a selfish one? Generous leaders usually feel better about work and life. Now who wouldn’t want that?

And who wouldn’t want to learn from Tim Sanders in person?

Come see Tim and the rest of our world-class faculty at GILD® from October 4-9 in Palm Desert, CA.

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