Leadership & the Gift of Giving (That Keeps on Giving)
Gone are the days when companies made donations in order to receive tax breaks – or at least I hope so. Giving back to your community, either by financial donations or personal actions, can have a greater impact on your company than you may think.
Making a Direct Impact
It’s a funny thing: people talk a lot about giving back, but too often it stops there and little action is taken. If you think your company is too small to make a big difference, that is just not the case, perhaps your company is not able to make large financial donations but you can take action and also encourage the company to develop an overall giving-back mentality.
We all get so entrenched in our daily work activities that we can often forget about the world outside of work. For me, it’s about remembering what is important, and it is about people – be it about colleagues, employees, clients or even people we do not yet know.
I started a couple of projects years ago with two friends of mine with whom I shared a desire to help and have a direct impact on those who needed it. So, we started a drive to gather clothes, food, sleeping bags, etc., and hit the streets of Hamburg, to get these items directly to the people who needed them. Taking action can really be that simple.
This type of activity leads to discussions in our office, and over lunch someone said, “Well, I don’t really do anything like that.” But when you start to dig, people really do help each other: giving a sandwich to the man on the street, helping an elderly person cross the road safely – even just taking a few minutes to listen to someone’s story, which just makes them feel good. Small acts that have an impact.
Giving By Example
It’s not a competition and true giving is not done for show; but sharing your true story does inspire others and can help motivate others to also make more positive contributions. I believe that is what giving back is about – especially at the office, where leaders in the organization can lead by example and encourage teams to find a project they are enthusiastic about and take action.
We really want to encourage leaders to set an example, especially through small actions that make a big impact, and to encourage everyone to make small steps toward making things a little better for everyone. When we see more leaders giving back to the community, we expect to see more people in general doing the same.
I’d like to encourage more small and mid-size businesses and their leaders to actively promote volunteerism and other forms of giving in their companies. (These people already have.) What do you think? We would love to hear your ideas…they may just catch on and inspire others!
Let’s find the right leaders that will move your company forward. Call Sabine Hutchison at Seuss Executive: +31(0) 20 29 00 016 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a complimentary consultation.