Organizations of every size in every sector have these three things in common. They all have power, money, and prestige. Each of these things can be seen from two sides of the proverbial coin.
On one side is the greediness associated with power, money, and prestige and on the other side is generosity. These opposing approaches to life can create significant conflict and friction, and even in some cases destroy relationships and partnerships.
Power is regulated within organizations by the title and scope of the leader, however, there are leaders who abuse the power that is bestowed upon them in their role. They tend to demonstrate more controlling and aggressive behaviors towards others and less like leaders and more like bosses.
Money in most organizations is controlled with checks and balances, and still there are those who have figured out how to embezzle funds that are not their own. Money in the form of compensation can drive greedy behaviors when the distribution process is flawed in any way.
Prestige is often associated with the ego’s self-concept. It might be that the leaders are inflated in their opinion of themselves. In this case, it is hard to find the ways in which a leader like this shares the spotlight. Some even take credit for work that they did not do or complete.
While there are bosses who are in leadership and management roles, there are also leaders and managers who won how they deal with power, money, and prestige. They tend to see the giving side with each of these items and as such find ways to appropriately and fairly share each of them with others.
Power for a generous leader may be seen as unlimited and available to everyone. There is no need for them to play politics or sabotage others to get a promotion. Generous leaders may see the value of playing musical chairs with five people and five chairs versus one less chair than people. Let that visual sink in as you see everyone as a winner.
While money is money, it is also a form of power and control in many organizations. There are leaders who see that money is just one of my ways of recognizing and rewarding others for work well done and results achieved. Since businesses have cycles, it is possible to be generous with money during the upturns. People are more accepting of the cycles if they feel like they are a part of both the ups and downs.
Prestige is linked to the Performance Management Model PIE, which is Performance, Image, and Exposure. When leaders see that everyone has a PIE and that they are the support of each other, not in competition. Prestige is an unlimited opportunity that avails itself to anyone who meets the principles.
Greedy bosses might be more likely to be selfish and hold things to themselves. This includes power, money, and prestige. In some of the worst-case scenarios, they can withhold critical information as a way of feeling powerful. When the organization does not have all of the intel needed to solve a problem, it could have a catastrophic impact on its ability to solve it.
Warren Buffet has a quote for greed that is work sharing.
“ Be Fearful when others are Greedy and Greedy when others are Fearful.” -Warren Buffet
Generous leaders tend to be more giving in seeing the win-win in situations. They approach things more with an assertive mindset. Generous leaders see the value of building trust and respect in their relationships and live to their core values and principles. Sometimes, the creativity and innovation of these leaders can lead to some impressive outcomes for the organization.
Khalil Gibran has a quote for greed that has endured the test of time.
: Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need.” -Khalil Gibran
The impacts are as different as the concepts when it comes to people and organizations. Greed is most often associated with corruption and abuse of power. Generosity is brings to mind giving and sharing.
In no time, a list of organizations that are branded in greed or generosity can be compiled. The assumptions made to determine which category that they would go in most often include power, money, and prestige.
Leaders have the ability to choose their leadership style, which is almost always rooted in their values and principles. Leaders must be held to the standards of an organization and the laws that govern them.
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