It can look like giving money, time, or expertise, but at its core generosity comes from a spirit that says, “I care enough to put someone else’s success first and to empower those around me, all without expecting anything back.”
We have added so much advanced technology to everything we do, automated whatever we could, and created a world that is often void of human interaction and emotions. Whether they are industry partners, employees, clients, or people within our communities, acts of kindness and generosity create a needed emotional connection with others. When people feel genuinely cared about, they develop an affinity toward your business and want to play a role in your growth and success.
Why Lead with Generosity?
Much of my early success came from other people extending generosity toward me. That’s why I’ve made a concerted effort to give generously in my relationships both personally and professionally. While I don’t claim to have the last word on generosity, JAI has experienced the rewards of building “giving back” culture into the foundation of our business.
Here are three benefits I’ve found along the way:
#1. GENEROSITY BUILDS TRUST
When we think of generosity, our thoughts usually drift toward money or acts of charity. In the context of leadership, however, other gifts have value beyond a price tag. Generosity is a great way to build trust because it makes your values and motivations clear. It signals that you sincerely care about others and that you are motivated to help them.
For my team, generosity includes:
- Extending someone an opportunity
- Giving someone the benefit of the doubt
- Allowing space for people to make mistakes
- Offering them the authority that goes with their responsibility
- Giving them credit for their ideas and outcomes
For my clients, generosity means:
- Putting their needs first
- Extending exceptional service wherever possible
- Exceeding their expectations
- Thinking of their customer / guest and their success
In a nutshell, all of this translates to a generous spirit, a quality that is admired in leaders of every industry.
Effective leaders set the tone for generosity at the start of each relationship. Remaining humble, kind, and thoughtful are the grounds for long-term trust. If over the course of a relationship someone ever has reason to doubt you, the character that you have consistently shown can put those fears to rest.
My pastor recently said, “Lead with the heart of a servant and serve with the heart of a leader.”
#2. GENEROSITY CREATES CONNECTIONS
JAI operates from a set of core values. Generosity works hand-in-hand with authenticity. It is always my desire to build genuine relationships with people and help others grow. Many companies, including JAI, have grown through people generously introducing key partners. Small start-ups scale into larger businesses when employees and clients feel cared about, and their leaders go the extra mile for them.
One of my passions is making connections through mentoring others in our industry. I love helping young designers find their passion and purpose. I have discovered and had the privilege of working with wonderful designers who are passionate about hospitality just by offering mentorship and giving them opportunities. They are willing to follow processes that allow time for meaningful communication and smooth project execution.
At JAI, our team generously connects clients, vendors, designers, mentors, partners, and friends to create the best experiences possible.
#3. GENEROSITY INFLUENCES EXPERIENCES
Design that Makes a Difference is more than a business tagline to us. When clients come to JAI, they are looking for a design firm that will help them create a unique hospitality environment and memorable guest experiences. Our passion is creating a beautiful design that impacts everyone who interacts with the surroundings. While creating a unique and remarkable space is the ultimate goal, developing an emotional connection for the guest within the space is critical. Our design is created to make an impact on someone’s journey, even if just for a brief period.
Something magical happens when the JAI designers focus on giving special experiences to our clients’ guests. Our team gets a unique and fulfilling opportunity to give back to people, and they are challenged to become more socially aware of behaviors and trends. Team members feel good about using their talents to help others, and when the design team feels good about what they are doing, they function better.
Our work moves beyond making aesthetically pleasing choices into transforming lives. We never get tired of it, because we love what we do.
On Mission with Generosity
On a personal level, I aim to make someone’s day brighter every single day. On a company level, the JAI team has made it our mission to make experiences with our brand as delightful and memorable as possible through our commitment to Design that Makes a Difference.
What does generosity mean to you, and how has it changed your life or work culture? I’d love to hear from you.