One of my unofficial mentors over the years has been Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric. Welch is considered an expert in business and leadership, with the value of GE rising in value by 4,000% during his 20 years at the helm.
During his many years in business, Welch has managed many people in leadership. He states that there is one unique characteristic that is inherent in every great leader: the generosity gene.
The generosity gene is when you are excited about the achievements and progress of the people you work with. They give credit to those who have great ideas and enthusiastically encourage their growth. Welch states “I have never seen a great leader that didn’t have the generosity gene. Take care of your people, let them know where they stand, cheer them, never take credit for what they do, and they’ll go to the moon for you.”
Manifesting the generosity gene is a challenge laid down to humanity by English ethologist and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, author of The Selfish Gene. He states “Let us try and teach generosity and altruism, because we are born selfish. Let us understand what our own selfish genes are up to, because we may then at least have the chance to upset their designs, something that no other species has ever aspired to do.”
You can put your generosity into practice at work with these 5 steps:
- BE GRATEFUL for the people you work with. THANK them for their efforts.
- COMPLIMENT & PRAISE individual team members for the unique qualities they bring to the practice.
- Give people a sense of IMPORTANCE within your practice.
- Give of your time and effort through ENCOURAGEMENT and SUPPORT.
- Always GIVE FREELY. Give without expectation of anything in return.
The impact of displaying the generosity gene is enormous, not only on the people you work with and the business you work in, but also on YOU. Researchers consistently find that altruistic generosity makes you happier and healthier. It increases life satisfaction and develops stronger relationships. Generosity begets generosity, so it is a cycle that keeps fuelling itself. Adopting the generosity gene can do you, and your team, the world of good!