My friend celebrated the life of his mother in law last weekend. She lived to the age of 95 and passed away last week. My friend had always spoken highly of her (unusual for a son-in-law), and even though I never met her, I figured she was special.
When I asked about her life, he explained that she was a wonderful singer and musician who had sung in a church choir for much of her life. When he had asked why she had done this for so long, she replied, “It’s a gift I’ve been given. I must give it away to others”.
I was touched by her response, and it led me to think about how leaders might respond if asked about the gifts they have and whether they are giving them away. Many of us may not be thinking about the inherent traits we have as a gift to be given to others. We might be more inclined to be unaware of our inherent gifts or to think about giving money or material goods. Leaders, especially, need to consider the non-material gifts they have that can be given to others “for the greater good”.
The Gifts You Can Give
Let’s explore some of the gifts you may have been given or that you have developed in your time on earth. These will be the traits that come easily to you. What would it take for you to bring these to work and “give them away”?
Kindness is often absent in today’s rough and tumble workplace where we might believe it doesn’t have a place. Realize that it does belong in your everyday interactions at work, and that you must give it away in order to model the compassion you want expressed at work. What keeps you from gifting your kindness?
Inspiration when given as a gift is like the fuel that feeds the engine of prosperity for your organization. When you inspire others, they go beyond being regular to becoming extraordinary. What inspiration are you holding inside that you can provide to your organization?
Clarity allows you to sew the pieces of the reason-why quilt together in a pattern that provides understanding and releases discretionary effort on the part of your employees. When you have the gift of clarity, you must speak up so that others can also see in order to act. What is clear to you that others have not yet realized?
Gratefulness, when personally cultivated by you, is a gift that your followers need. In a world devoid of positive feedback, you can make a difference. Are you openly expressing what you are grateful for in those who follow you?
Love isn’t a word or an emotion that we admit has a place at work. Yet you have an opportunity to express it many times during a day. What do you love about your work? What do you love about your team, your organization, your customers? Let them know.
What other inherent gifts do you have that you can give to others?