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Managers Can Be Effective Leaders Through Generous Leadership

Effective leadership is more than just achieving goals and meeting targets; it’s about nurturing, motivating, and inspiring your team to achieve their full potential. To Joe Davis, a Managing Director and Senior Partner at Boston Consulting Group, this approach is one of generosity. 

Joe’s passion for people and his desire to support their development and inspire teams to work better than they thought possible led him to author the book The Generous Leader: Seven Ways to Give of Yourself For Everyone's Gain which lays out the principles for how managers can be effective leaders in today’s workplace. 

In my conversation with Joe, he shared the highlights of his research and personal experiences of what generous leadership looks like in action. 


Listen To Learn

One trait of effective leaders is the ability to deeply listen—to understand not just the words but the perspective, the underlying concerns or passions, and the values the other person is expressing. Joe recommends we seek out the “No’s” specifically to listen and learn from them. Instead of viewing people who disagree with us or dissent as roadblocks, assume they know or see something that you don’t. Engaging skeptics often leads to better problem-solving. By incorporating diverse viewpoints and creating an environment of active listening, you can establish a culture of collaboration.

Connect Personally With Each Person

Creating an environment where team members feel seen, heard, and supported is now a standard expectation in healthy workplaces. While it may seem insignificant, Joe encourages us to greet people by name, especially those who are lower in the hierarchy than ourselves. When we demonstrate respect for folks at all levels of an organization, we reinforce that we are all in this work together.

Clear The Path For Others

In Joe’s language, generous leaders are “action allies'' who partner with individuals to help them achieve their professional aspirations. We must first understand their goals and then offer support in ways that level the playing field. The intent is to create opportunities that allow the individual to be successful. 

For example, Joe shared a story of speaking up to ensure the right person (a woman) was recognized for her ideas. Although it can be awkward to interrupt a meeting and point out that we only took the idea seriously after it was re-shared by a man, it is often little acts such as this that have much bigger influence than we realize.  

Communicate More Than Once

Repetition is a powerful tool in ensuring your message is well-understood. If something is important, we cannot assume it will be heard, understood accurately, and acted upon if we only communicate it once. There are simply too many conversations, ideas, and distractions in today’s workplace.

Joe suggests articulating the key message three times to ensure that the listener recognizes its importance and comprehends it fully. While this is easy to do in a presentation that is planned, it’s also important for managers to share and reshare important information multiple times––by email, in a meeting, and over chat, for example. 

To lead effectively, you must be action-oriented, continuously learning, and constantly assessing your impact. A generous leader is someone who leads by example, cares genuinely for their team, provides straightforward feedback, and assists individuals in leveraging their strengths for success. We can be generous in spirit as we inspire our teams, drive results, and create empowering and inclusive workplaces.

Listen to the entire episode 304 to learn more about conflict management.

Keep up with Joe Davis

- Grab a copy of his book, The Generous Leader, here

- Follow Joe on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram 

- Check out his website for more information here

Guest Bonus: Book Giveaway - 5 Copies of “The Generous Leader: 7 Ways to Give of Yourself for Everyone’s Gain”

Joe Davis’s book, The Generous Leader, is an innovative and insightful 7-part guide to heartfelt and collaborative actions that transform the reader into a generous leader. It is for anyone seeking to elevate their heart, lead with humanity, and live a life of deep integrity. You must enter the drawing by Wednesday, May 8.

To get this guest bonus and many other member benefits, become a member of The Modern Manager Podcast+ Community.


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