7 Gifts Great Leaders Give Away

Leading GivingThe season of giving (and getting) is upon us. Although the tradition is simple enough – get together and give gifts to each other – we succeed in complicating it.

Should I get Jim a gift? Will he get me something? How much will he spend? All this stress and guilt stuffed into an exchange that’s supposed to be generous and joyful.

I’ve found that great leaders are almost always great givers. Giving is part of who they are. They keep it simple. They remember that a gift is “a thing given willingly to someone without payment.” They give things away year ’round – and they do it without expecting anything in return. It’s one of the things that draws people to follow them!

Here are seven gifts I see great leaders routinely give away:

1. Praise. Most of us are conditioned to find faults. Great leaders look for and encourage what people are doing well. They work hard at it. They know the liberating power honest positive feedback has on a person.

2. Authority. They aren’t power-hungry, risk-adverse, or control-freaks. Whenever they give someone responsibility, they give them the authority to go with it. There’s only one way to make someone trustworthy – trust them!

3. Resources. Great leaders give their people the tools they need to do their jobs. And they know that nine times out of ten the best way to find out what they need is to simply ask them.

4. Advice. Great leaders care about their people and their organizations. They want to see others succeed at work and in their lives. They’re glad to offer any help they can.

5. 100%. No more; no less. They certainly don’t claim to be more than they are, and they don’t dare hold anything back. They pour all of their passion, intellect, and energy into every endeavor.

6. Perspective. Leaders have a unique perspective on any program or project. Their job is to see the big picture – how all the parts mesh together toward a common purpose. Great leaders know its their job to share that perspective.

7. Thanks. Finally, great leaders realize that they wouldn’t be where they are if not for the gifts that they’ve received. Parents, mentors, coaches, comrades, rivals, bosses, peers, and the people working hard with and for them right now deserve a piece of credit for their success.

What else do great leaders give away? Which of these gifts will you work on giving away as a leader this holiday season?

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