Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Building Community with Giving

One of the principles of quiet leadership focuses on the need for leaders to build community. I've suggested in an earlier post that community building can start simply, with thanks, and smiles. One of my favorite Tom Peters pleadings, "It begets it." Smiles begets smiles, thanks begets thanks.

What follows after the simple start? I'd propose giving and service.

Consultant Michelle Kunz writes extensively about giving in her Power Energy Leadership blog. In Excellence is Giving she talks about the benefits of giving and quotes the creed of BNI, the global business networking group that "Givers Gain."

Consider these returns cited by Kunz in her post:
  • Trust -- people trust those who have their interests truly at the center of all they do
  • Admiration -- people admire those who commit their energies to advancing the common good
  • Respect -- people respect those who dedicate their time to helping others win
  • Wisdom -- when we listen deeply to what others need we learn more about ourselves and the world around us
  • Humility -- giving to others shines a mirror back on all that we have and helps us feel grateful
  • Authenticity -- giving deeply of ourselves removes the filters we keep in place when we withhold, requiring our true selves to come into focus
  • Integrity -- aligning our values with principles which do not change greatly simplifies the challenge of walking our talk
This represents huge returns for the simple act of giving and serving. Maybe building community doesn't have to be hard. Start with smiles, thanks, and add a little giving.

Thanks for reading. Please lead quietly.

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