Jun
27

Generosity Fuels Prosperity

by  Mike Henry  |  Leadership Development

“[G]reat talent leads to more innovation and more productivity which then lead[s] to more demand.” Seth Godin, Linchpin

We have written here about what I called Open-Source Leadership.  I asked, “Can we create a community of leaders that are committed to leadership development without personal agendas, like an open-source project?”  Seth Godin’s quote above from Linchpin talks about how this type of positive-sum understanding of “our marketplace” is necessary to produce growth.Nothing grows until talent innovates, creating productivity which leads to more demand.  Productivity doesn’t lead to more consumption, but to better products (things we produce”).  More innovation leads to more demand.  Therefore, generosity is the best strategy once we see our marketplace as growing through that generosity.  That’s the case with individual artistry, individual productivity and individual leadership too.

Inspiring character-based leaders create a better, more productive, more highly-functioning community, which, in-turn creates more character-based leaders.  A character-based leader is someone who leads from who they are, not from position or power.  Character-based leaders inspire, creating energy, generosity, and prosperity and greater well-being for each member of the community.  Serving others as a leader fuels the process.  Selfish agendas, silos and look-out-for-number-one types break the chain.  I discussed this further in a post titled Give Win First.  Generosity fuels positive-sum thriving communities.  Any community qualifies: leadership communities, homeowner associations, PTA’s, neighborhoods, cities, regions, or nations.  All can be made better.  Generosity starts the process.

In Drive, author Daniel Pink refers to it as intrinsic motivation versus extrinsic motivation.  When we provide extrinsic motivation, we make the relationship transactional.  When we do something just because it’s the right thing to do we receive the intrinsic rewards, we tend to contribute with greater emotional labor and we generally produce better “art.”  I specifically mixed references to both Linchpin and Drive in that sentence.  Godin says our emotional labor produces art.  Pink says that intrinsic rewards are a better motivator for right-brained creative work.  And I say that when you bring your best self and contribute your energy to your community you make the world better – the whole thing.

Character-based leaders bring their best energy to create a better world and make a positive difference?  Are you waiting for someone else to be generous first?  What can you do?  Can you do it now?  Or are you investing in others?  Care to share?  We could all use the encouragement.  After all, this is an open-source leadership community…

Wheat © Paul Murphy Fotolia.com

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About The Author

Articles By mike-henry
Chief Instigator (Founder) of Lead Change Group and VP of IT for a mid sized technology company. Passionate about character-based leadership and making a positive difference.  »  View Profile

What People Are Saying

David Weale  |  23 Jul 2010  |  Reply

Good stuff. A spirit of generosity will always powerfully break a spirit of poverty in an individual, a group, an organization or even a community. Better to give than receive and all that…

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