To fully understand who we are as leaders, in our life and our work, we need to understand that we are called to give. Most of us embrace that role—we are drawn to leadership because we want to give.
And the act of giving is itself rewarding:
“You can only have more for yourself by giving it away to others.” ― Brian Tracy
“We must give more to get more.” ― Orison Swett Marden
But leadership, and life, are about balance. To fully give as leaders, we must also learn to receive as leaders.
For many of us, this balance is uncomfortable.
Our thoughts about receiving are often influenced by myths and nontruths that we keep alive. When others give to us, we may feel on some level that we are selfish or undeserving. We may see others’ gifts to us as unwarranted or even a waste of time.
Both giving and receiving are essential. To give is easy and comes naturally. But for some reason receiving is a bit more difficult, and often comes with strain and stress.
The truth is this: It is as unbalanced to give without receiving as to receive without giving. For others to experience the rewards of giving, we must learn to graciously receive.
It’s about existence and coexistence, the duality of life that helps us thrive.
This holiday season of Thanksgiving (in the US) is the perfect time to take a moment to realize and remember all that you have received. You may want to even keep a gratitude journal that lists what you receive—and how you receive it.
Most of all, realize that the gift of giving is in the power to receive, and that in receiving with grace and gratitude, we give.
We are natural givers. But for now, let’s keep the art of receiving full in our heart and understand that receiving involves a step inward, a step toward balance in our lives and our leadership.
In the presence of giving, let’s open our hearts to receiving.
Lead From Within: For all who are participating in the tradition of giving thanks, know that the act of receiving balances with what we give. We need both to excel and to master our lives.
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.