Leading Generously

In the spirit of Thanksgiving I’ve been reflecting a lot on what it means to be a generous leader.

I admire leaders who seem to give themselves away repeatedly in spite of very busy lives.  I marvel at how they do it all.  As much as it frustrates me, I’m a default to ‘task‘ type of person.  I wish I was wired for ‘people’ first.  I really do, but I’m naturally wired to focus on getting things done.

As much as this is the reality of how I’m wired, I refuse to allow it to be an excuse. I believe that I still have a responsibility to be aware of this tendency and then to work towards balancing my life towards investing in others more strategically.

Last week at Cultivate Her, being a generous leader was our topic for the day.  We invited a panel of generous leaders to speak to us sharing their thoughts on how they have invested in others this way.  Here are some of my favorite comments from the time they shared with us:

Margaret Becker

  • avoid a scarcity mentality; we are descendants of Christ the King (royalty) and once we grasp this we realize there is plenty to go around; give abundantly without fear of not having enough
  • to be effective you have to be fluid; be a conduit rather than a dispenser
  • leadership requires humility – to be broken in public
  • always choose people over the system

Randy Elrod

  • know yourself
  • every time we mentor we deplete our emotional gauge; we have to be aware of where that emotional gauge is and find ways to refill it
  • the hardest thing you’ll have to do is say “no”

I wish that I had captured more of their thoughts.  I couldn’t write fast enough!

Are you ‘task’ first or ‘people’ first?

How are you leading generously?

Who has generously invested in you?

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  • jan owen November 28, 2009  

    I am definitely people oriented. And when you have to get a job done, navigating the people issues and concerns, etc. can be quite difficult. It’s great that you are learning to know yourself, and your own pre-dispositions as a leader.

    To accomplish something – with excellence – while still showing love to those around us is a challenge. It’s a tension that pushes and stretches our hearts to grow and learn.

  • Jenni Catron November 28, 2009  

    @Jan – I always appreciate your insight!

  • mandythompson December 3, 2009  

    I’m returning to full-time ministry/leadership in just a few weeks, and quite frankly, I’m a bit intimidated. I’ve never wanted to lead people. I’ve never wanted to be that kind of person. I like standing in the back and watching. I like helping from the sidelines. Not coaching.

    But I’m going to start keeping up with your blog more – to see what leadership tidbits you have to offer to us women-in-leadership. Bring it, Jenni!

    • Jenni Catron December 4, 2009  

      @Mandy – I’m so excited for this new season for you. You are going to be an amazing leader! And hopefully we’ll finally meet in person since you’ll be in the South! 🙂