10 of 10: A Modern-Day Leader Gives to Causes They Believe In

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(10 Principles of Modern-Day Leaders Series)

The paradigm of leadership has shifted over recent decades. With multiple generations in the workplace, a globally connected world, competitive job markets, demand for work/life balance, and fast-moving changes in technology, leaders need to adapt to changes and understand how to effectively connect with those they are leading.

In this ten-part series, we layout ten principles that modern leaders can lead with to be the most effective difference makers they can be.

If you’ve kept up with our ten-part series on what it takes to be an effective modern leader, you’ll see a theme of giving. A great leader gives respect to others before they receive it. A great leader gives time and attention to their community. A great leader gives an example of self-respect through the way they dress. A great leader even gives themselves time for reflection and the grace of knowing the value of recharging their brains through scheduled quiet time.

If you aspire to be a great leader, giving will need to be an important theme in your life as well. Beyond giving to loved ones, your organization, and your community, the greatest leaders give to causes they believe in.

If the thought of giving is new to you, start by answering the three questions below:

  1. Who should I give to?
    • Simply find a cause you truly believe in; something near and dear to your heart. Have you ever felt the yearning to help someone in need during a tough situation? Perhaps there’s an issue someone close to you struggles with, suffers from, or has overcame? Ask your friends and family what charities or causes they believe in if you’re looking for inspiration.
  2. What should I give?
    • Money – “I believe that with great wealth comes great responsibility, a responsibility to give back to society and a responsibility to see that those resources are put to work in the best possible way to help those most in need.” Bill Gates said this, and while I know we all don’t have Bill Gates money, there’s great truth in that quote. Even just a little donation can go a long way to others. The ShareTheMeal program funded by the United Nations World Food Programme can feed a child for a full day for just 50 cents.
    • Time – Sometimes volunteering our time is more valuable than what we pull out of our pockets. Even helping friends and strangers through informal settings can do incredible things beyond money. Pastor TD Jakes would tell us that it’s better to give a man a strategy than a paycheck. A strategy can help a man stay on his feet on his own to create a better life; give him a paycheck and he will need another one in a few weeks.
    • Resources – People are the most powerful resource on earth, and sometimes, as a leader, you have the power to allocate this resource to do impactful work to assist others in need. Salesforce, for example, allows their employees to occasionally volunteer their work hours towards building homes and playgrounds for Habitat for Humanity. Volunteer programs for youth are a fantastic way to let your employees get involved in various causes in the community.
  3. Why should I give?
    • “No man can become rich without himself enriching others. The man who dies rich dies disgraced,” said Andrew Carnegie. As leaders, even if we aren’t rich with money, we are often rich with knowledge, wisdom, networks of people, intuition, etc., and we have an obligation to give and serve others. It’s part of the responsibility of gifts we’ve been given as leaders, and it allows us to continue to make a difference in the world in multiple ways.

As we approach 2019, plan times and strategies in your calendars to give more in the new year. You’ll find if you give more in 2019, you’ll be certain to get more as well.

If you aspire to be a great leader, giving will need to be an important theme in your life as well. Beyond giving to loved ones, your organization, and your community, the greatest leaders give to causes they believe in.

Leaders failed to embrace the direction in which their industry was moving. Each had their chance to adapt to their consumers and lead the charge in the new frontier, but they chose not to. And they paid the ultimate price.

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This blog was written by Nick Sherwood for the Navigator Leadership Corporation.