To lead, give.
To lead, receive.
To lead, stop and think about why you do both. Just a thought, but perhaps one of the best ways to stay on track toward your vision and to lead with integrity.
At this time of year, many of us get caught up in all the things we must do that we stumble from mid-November to January in a flurry of activity, deadlines, and tasks to complete. The pace starts to pick up as we approach the end of another year. Perhaps we think that we need to make up for all the things we didn’t complete this year or maybe the expectations placed upon ourselves really are not possible to meet.
So, it makes me think about giving and receiving. My children are all about what they are receiving this year as we celebrate a holiday important to my family. My wife and I are thinking long and hard about how to instill a sense of giving in them and less receiving.
I am wondering if we have it backwards.
The ability to receive a compliment, a gift, or a kind word is hard to do. As we get older, we are expected to be able to do this yet we do not want to be perceived, much like my children, as “wanting” or “deserving” of these gifts. At LeaderShape, I have been very shy and humble about receiving gifts to our annual fund every year. Almost as if I was reluctant to accept them or that we were not deserving of these gifts. I had a realization during our annual fund request these last couple of weeks…I need to be open to receiving so that I truly honor someone sharing a gift.
When someone gives to you or a cause like LeaderShape, they are believing in you, showing they care for you, wanting to help you. When we receive a gift with honor, gratitude, and sincerity, we acknowledge someone’s effort and thought. It is a necessary skill to learn how to receive gifts from others in order to truly show appreciation and acceptance of this thought.
Giving is a trait of all good leaders. Receiving is just as important. But this does take time and attention. We must slow down a little bit, look someone in the eye, and show our appreciation.
Maybe that is the true magic of giving and receiving. Slow down and appreciate the gifts you receive whether they be someone’s time or resources.
Even if it is another pair of socks or a nasty, scratchy sweater.
Yes, I have plenty. Lucky guy.
Paul is the President of LeaderShape and pinches himself everyday for that opportunity. He is a father, son, husband, athlete, avid reader, eternal optimist, and sucker for the underdog.