Are You A Generous Leader?

A recent experience at the coffee shop made me think about leadership in a new way … and gave me some ideas on how to introduce my newest research – ‘The Limiting Factors Leadership Study.’

Stick with me for a minute.

I have a favorite coffee shop that I frequent when I’m doing a seminar in Hawaii. At 6 a.m., when they open, I’m there. It’s just part of my routine, and I always order a large iced tea without ice.

Well this last trip, a new person was behind the counter, and when I gave her my order, she came back with a half-empty cup.

I was a little perplexed, and asked if they ran out of tea? No she said, “This is a full cup without the ice.” (Now my experience is that most people fill the cup up all the way to the top, give or take ¼ inch.) I didn’t argue, but I felt a little cheated. (I’m sure in her mind she thought I was trying to cheat her.)

I’ve enjoyed coming to this establishment for years, but that morning it took a hit on how I felt about it – all because of a lack of generosity.

Now I’ve seen similar situations elsewhere. I remember one Thanksgiving serving meals to the homeless, and watching how different volunteers put different portions on the plates (some barely offering a scoop, while others in the line just loaded the food on). I think you’ll agree, being generous is appreciated by everyone!

Our Newest Leadership Study

As a leader, when you withhold from your people, they know. And they feel it.

‘The Limiting Factors Leadership Study’ looks at what employees believe they’re missing in their development as leaders. These become leadership limitations, because companies and bosses fail to see where people get stuck, and don’t give them what they need to succeed.

(Remember, most organizations use the majority of their metrics to judge how the business is succeeding – not so much about how the individual is doing.) What happens is that many employees feel more “used” than valued. That’s not a good formula for high performance.

After a year-and-a-half surveying 472 people, we came to the conclusion that successfully developing leaders requires that the most common limitations need to be addressed and overcome.

The first priority for leaders is to be more generous in giving others the opportunity to lead. If  both sides, leader and led, pursue the same objective, it’ll probably get done.

Anyway, a short overview of the study is found at: … I highly encourage you to take a quick look.

Being a generous leader is a basis for growing people – who grow a successful business, provide excellent service to the public, and consistently accomplish the mission. We can all work on it.

– Jerry Strom

Twitter: @JerryRStrom.

For more information about our leadership and team development programs, please visit . Join the mailing list to receive new articles as they are published.

This article is based on the *’The Limiting Factors Leadership Study: A Critical Look at the Leadership Development Experience,’ copyright 2015, by Jerry Strom & Company, Inc. Find the Research Abstract, along with descriptions of many of our other research projects at . Find short insights on Twitter at #LimitingFactorsRPT

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