December 19, 2006

Be an instant Santa this week.

I've always been raised to believe that there are certain days, or times of year, where you have a license to perform random acts of kindness. If it is someone's birthday, you have a platform to show them how much they mean to you. If it is Christmas week, you have an excuse to give gifts and good cheer.

As a leader, your spontaneous acts of charity filter down through your culture. Everyone around you sees your generosity, and researchers say they get as much buzz watching someone receive a gift as they would get from receiving it. It's also contagious. Your act of kindness leverages the power of suggestion.

Here's my suggestion for social leadership: Be an instant Santa to at least one person this week. Look around at work. Is there someone who works with you that might not get a fun personal gift (like an IPOD shuffle) this season? Is there a person at work who barely makes a living wage that might not be eating turkey this coming Monday? Go to the grocery store, grab a few turkeys and play Santa. Stop by the Mac Store or Best Buy and buy some personal electronics and give them to hard working parents that are devoting 100% of their energy to kid-gifts. You will find that your thoughtfulness is incredibly rewarding to you, them and everyone involved. You never know, you might light a fire of giving and abundance at your office or in your social circle.

I'll never forget the Christmas eve when I was living in Dallas and working at a celluar phone company. The owner brought in a carload of turkeys for his hard working hourly staff. Some already had turkeys, many did not. There was a sense of joy and cheer around the office that led to people giving gifts to their landscapers, favorite waiter or even a neighbor in need. I learned that the owner of the company got one thing right; you can be an instant Santa if you show initiative and humility. It takes a little deep listening, a little cash and a modest amount of time. In the end, you'll create something that will live long after the New Year's Eve parties are forgotten and resolutions are broken. You'll create the virtuous circle of giving.

That's what leaders do; lead. And good leaders lead others to doing good.

Posted at 11:17 AM in Leadership  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)

Comments

Commentor

Love this thought!

Yesterday I had the priveledge to deliever gifts to a family some friends and I adopted for the holiday. I have done this for many years and each year brings a different gift back to me.

As I drove away from the home of the family, I felt a deep sense of compassion. I began to weep from the emotion and decided to pull over and allow myself this place of learning. I sat crying, feeling the presence of God and the energy of the Universe.

I came to a deeper understanding that each action we take to benefit others allows for a deeper connecetion to ourselves, to the community and to the Universe.

In that moment, there was no judgement, no fear, no anger. Just compassion. Recently I have been doing research for my new book on the concept of help. I have found myslef diving into the knowledge pool of empathy.

Amazing lessons which in that moment allowed me to realize, I could be that grandmother reaching out for help. I could be that man who could not see beyond an addiction, I could be that child, full of Christmas desire.

Such amazing lessons to be had as we reach out and give. Allow yourself to feel the wonderful gifts that come back to you. I know they will allow you to open youself to deeper connections with your community.

Thanks Tim, for continuing the conversations on giving!!

Blessings for a holiday season full of generosity!!

Commentor

Generosity creates more generosity!


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