This week, we are checking out Charity and Leadership. In that same LinkedIn post earlier the week, we suggested that “Charity is not an act or event. It is a spirit; a way of being. It is a spirit driven to feel compassion, and to share our talents and resources. It is a virtue that engages us to give with a genuine generosity of spirit, to withhold from judgement, to allow others their space and mistakes, and to help in need. It builds trust and trustworthiness alike, when sincerely practiced.”
And Charity begins at home. Now, home can be defined as wherever we are or to where we are called. This morning, for me, it was called to while standing in line at Tim Horton’s. I had an a-ha reminder moment and, this morning, I posted the following on Facebook, in response to that moment.
- It occurs to me this morn… that the strongest people know and acknowledge their insecurities. We all have them. If someone purports otherwise, hmmmmm. Accept and embrace them… and do the best you can. There you find strength amidst your doubts. Love to all. Peace. #authenticity #courage
Charity begins in our own hearts; to cut ourselves some slack. When we practice Charity with ourselves, we build the capacity to practice it with others. Imagine such a spirit of compassion, acknowledging our own talents and resources as gifts and being willing to share them with Humble Swagger™. Imagine practicing a genuine generosity of spirit with ourselves, withholding from arbitrary and often cruel self judgement of ourselves, and allowing for our own space and mistakes.
That is Charity, at home.
Charity is listening with open heart… to hell with the agendas and opportunism. Let go of the need to manipulate. Charity is a deep respect for others’ stories. Charity allows us to be ourselves; and others the same. It does not imply agreeing and being in some contrived form of lockstep. It does imply honor and respect that destroys condescension and superiority. Charity listens. Charity cares. Charity seeks to understand. And, Charity desires to help… in whatever way is needed, possible and best.
Charity moves us beyond bullying. It advances understanding and acceptance… of our differences and sameness. It empowers educators, coaches and mentors to see their students and clients as individuals and not cut from any same exact cloth. It enables entrepreneurs to go beyond expectations in service to colleagues and clients alike. It engages emerging leaders to give of their time and resources to those who matter most in service.
Indeed, Charity is not an event; nor an action. It is a way of being. It is judicial in its choices to help; finding its best and most strategic way to be of service. Charity, practiced with the virtue of Discernment, moves the needle on our most authentic reputation for caring and excellence. People see that we truly care and have focused our energies on best giving a damn. People see that we are “all in”. We are known to be committed. We give our all to what is important. We give.
For educators, entrepreneurs and emerging leaders, Charity can be an incredible path to trust and trustworthiness. Those we serve and with whom we work will know that we are in it for the right and best of reasons. They place their precious trust in us because of how they see we care. Charity is not posed nor faked. Charity is authentic and fierce.
It manifests itself in our conversations and actions; in our words and deeds. It manifests itself in the time we take to listen, in the true desire to see and understand ourselves and others, in our willingness to move beyond any pre-conceived sense of knowing better.
Charity unites us powerfully. We have each other’s backs. We care. We give a damn and people know it. We are not giving out of need for our resumes or reputations. We give because we give; a damn. We give because our work matters, our lives matter, and the people around us matter. We give because we receive, in return… not reward but respect… for ourselves and others.
The people pictured in this blog… from Gary Summers to Corina Walsh, Joel Sweeney and Bruce Templeton… they care. Indeed, each are bringing their capacities, talents and resources to CAPS Cares. This is the practice of Charity in Leadership. But so is every individual moment that we take to care; genuinely care. There is nothing soft nor opportunistic nor political about the virtue of Charity. It knows we matter and we all matter and that a huge part of leadership is to manifest that understanding and the caring that comes with it to build families, classrooms, campuses, companies and communities that know what is truly important and who we best serve.
Charity works. It works it. It works it at College. It works it in Business. It works it at Home and in the Community. And, it breeds Excellence. Where and with whom do you need most to practice Charity today? Do that.
Peace, passion and prosperity.
Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™
Barry is ultimately a vocalist, strength coach and educator. His work is about exploring, identifying, practicing and mastering our strengths and building upon them through practical and powerful unity and resourcefulness. That is why Barry is The Unity Guy™. EPIC Engage™ is an extension of The Unity Guy™. The Epic work is all about building strong, united and inspired cultures lead by character… at school, work, business and community; where everyone matters and contributes everyday.
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