Paul Hargreaves: Generosity
I was speaking at a leader’s workshop last week talking about why we need to transform our business from ones that are all about making money to ones that are about making the world a better place, and the profit will follow. A large part of this is ensuring that the people in a business are happy, because happy people equals productive people.
So I was talking about being generous to employees, especially in the area of flexibility and holidays, and that their job should be moulded around their life rather than the other way round. There were a couple in the room that shouted out “how can you afford to do that?” A flippant answer would be how can you afford not to do it, as that is what many Gen X and Gen Z employees will expect. But, actually giving away more increases trust within a business, giving better retention, more loyalty and a much better profitable company. So you simply cannot afford not to be generous to your teams.
So, the next question is why do so many leaders find it so difficult? One answer: trust. Some find it difficult to trust due to childhood experiences and some find it difficult to trust due to previous management experiences. In the latter case that may because you had the wrong people. In the former, then, with time, you can change. The longer I am on this journey, the more inadequate I feel and the greater the realisation that personal change is essential in building great companies that are changing the world for better. As one CEO said to me last year, “I have just been away for three days to sort my crap out!”
Most religions of the world have a concept such as “what you reap you sow” or “what goes around comes around” or simply “karma”. Those leaders who sow generosity will get it back in spades. Try it!