Go on, give a little
Tuesday, October 9, 2007/
Here’s a different business approach that has the power to transform: be generous, with your time, your knowledge and your praise.
I’ve been reading my favorite magazine, Ode. The latest issue just arrived and as always it is packed with great thinking and inspiration from around the world. One article especially grabbed my attention: it focuses on a specific cultural attribute that the Swedish writer Stephan Einhorn believes makes an organisation successful – to be generous.
Now there is a word and value that you don’t hear very often in connection with business! Be generous, not from a philanthropic point of view – he wasn’t talking about supporting the starving masses (although I am sure he would be for that as well). A couple of weeks ago I talked about inconvenient values, but here is one that is not only rarely inconvenient, it has the power to transform. The thesaurus tells us the opposite of generous is stingy, meagre and lacking; and, uncomfortably, they are probably more accurate descriptions of many organisational environments.
We tend to treat our work lives like fields of battle, with Sun Tzu and Machiavelli the playbooks for success, which is only measured in terms of winners and losers. How about we look at things from a different, more generous perspective?
Be generous with each other, treat your fellow workers with respect, praise good work and deeds, support your team. Be generous with your knowledge: share what you know instead of trying to use it as a source of power. Be generous with your time: a little effort and attention can go a long way.
Be generous. See you next week.
- Alignment is Michel’s passion. Through her work with Brand Alignment Group she helps organisations align who they are, with what they do and say to build more authentic and sustainable brands.
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