More than a decade ago, Tim Sanders wrote a timeless book called Love Is the Killer App. I love what he says on this topic:
The most powerful force in business isn’t greed, fear, or even the raw energy of unbridled competition. The most powerful force in business is love. It’s what will help your company grow and become stronger. It’s what will propel your career forward. It’s what will give you a sense of meaning and satisfaction in your work, which will help you do your best work.
Love is such a squishy word. We all likely have a different definition of love based on how we grew up or the quality of relationships we have experienced. Sanders defines love as the selfless promotion of growth in another. “When you help others grow to become the best people that they can be, you are being loving—and as a result, you grow.”
The opposite of a generous leader, then, is a selfish leader. Selfish leaders:
- Keep the credit for themselves.
- Circle all conversations back to him or herself.
- Hide competitive advantages from his team.
- Are always looking to determine blame for mistakes (“Whose fault was this?” rather than “We made a mistake, let’s learn from it and keep going.”)
My experience with selfish people is that they are often stressed, tense, bitter, angry, critical, argumentative, and bullying. Generous people, on the other hand, are genuinely happy. They aren’t constantly determining their self-worth by how far they are above others. They have a great day when they’ve had the chance to add value to others.
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