Tis the season of giving… but “the season” will be over in the blink of an eye. So maybe now, when we are in the midst of the spirit of good cheer, we need to think about how we as leaders can continue to give… beyond the season.
Yes, I know, you give of yourself to your organization all the time. And that is important, it’s just not what I am referring to. How are you using your influence — your time and your talent — outside your organization? Think about all of those times you wished someone in your organization would step up, to embrace and energize an initiative that had great potential to increase your impact. Chances are, there is another organization in your community looking at you and wishing the very same thing.
Yes, I know that your schedule is full to the brim and overflowing with things that are part of your “real job.” And I suppose you could look at giving back to your community as one more drain on your time and energy, however, that is not how I have experienced it. Lending your unique gifts and graces to an initiative that you are excited about can actually infuse a new kind of energy into your day… which is entirely different from saying yes to a request because you think you “should” do it. What excites you? What are you passionate about? How can you be a part of that — or start that — in your community?
Here’s the amazing thing about giving beyond the season… the giver is often blessed/rewarded/enriched as much or more than the organization on the receiving end. Maybe it is new relationships formed, new opportunities revealed, new perspectives embraced. When a leader gives back to their community, their influence is extended, their lives enriched and (the original goal) their community is improved. Who can’t find a bit of time for that?
My challenge to each of you as you wind down one year and look ahead to the next, is that you find a way to give beyond the season. Multiply your influence and impact beyond the walls of your organization. When you do, you encourage those you lead to do likewise, and thus your gift is multiplied far beyond a “season.” Your community will benefit… and so will you!