Giving generously starts with an open heart, a positive belief in human nature, and faith that giving is part of a virtuous cycle. As a leader, you can give in so many ways -- give people a chance, give people autonomy, give people a sense of purpose, give people encouragement, etc.

Giving leaders are willing and able to look for the best in people and situations, but without losing themselves in the process or being blind to the realities of their business.

With practice, giving can become a powerful and self-reinforcing habit for you and for your company overall, and part of an uplifting Amare (love-based) leadership style.

Reflect on these questions: 

  • What's your instant reaction when you think of giving?

  • What's been your experience with both giving and withholding as a leader?

  • How do you receive the giving of others?

7 Amare Ways to Be a More Giving Leader

  1. Think generous self-thoughts. Over the course of the day, take note of how many of your thoughts about yourself are positive and kind, and how many are negative and critical. Then experiment with consciously replacing the negatives with better feeling positive thoughts for an hour or two.  

  2. Assume positive intent (API). In any given interaction, start by assuming the other person is genuinely working toward a positive outcome and wants mutual success. Notice how that starting point affects both your experience and their behavior. 

  3. Develop your giving muscles. Commit now to grow one aspect of your giving: Will you give people opportunity, power, credit, feedback, acknowledgment, encouragement, love? Choose one every week and do it.

  4. Stop keeping score. Do you expect a quid pro quo for every act of giving? If yes, consider the feeling you get by being generous as the payoff. Notice the opening that mental shift creates, and whether that emotional reward is sufficient. 

  5. Practice receiving graciously. To produce a culture of giving, also model receiving the giving of others. Respond with a simple "Thank you, I really appreciate that." 

  6. Create a giving brand. Work with your team to explore making generosity one of the pillars of your brand promise. Consider what it would take for that to be authentic, how you would implement it, and the potential impact on employee engagement and customer loyalty. 

  7. Trust in life. Check in on your core beliefs about life, people, and business. If you lean toward distrust, pessimism, and lack, mentally experiment with the possibility that those beliefs are wrong and that life conspires to support generous givers. 

The most venerated leaders make giving a lifelong habit and cultivate the same in others. It's an inspiring practice that delivers a powerful payoff every time.