Think of the best leader you know. Now think of the worst. What is it that separates them?
Countless books have been written with various complex theories about what you need to become a great leader. However there is one element that these books often forget to analyse. Generosity.
Great leaders create and nurture a culture of generosity and lead by example.
Great leaders don’t just think about value creation for their shareholders, but the values of their staff.
Great leaders believe that generosity improves the bottom-line and maximises shareholder value in a very practical way.
Great leaders apply their energy, skills and businesses – their people, their resources and their client relationships – to tackle social problems and make an impact greater than their annual profit.
Harvard Business Review reported on studies concluding that actions taken by a more generous leadership improves employee motivation and happiness, and leads to higher productivity and sales.
The Generosity-Profit Logic
At BeyondMe we call this the Generosity-Profit Logic: rather than being diametric opposites, we believe business success and generosity are compatible and even self-sustaining.
That is why we’re about promoting generosity in leadership. Millennials Adam Pike (former Deloitte) and Michael Harris (PwC) co-founded BeyondMe as a way of empowering future leaders to be generous and take a leading role in tackling the causes they care about. We do this by establishing teams – each comprised of seven young professionals from the same firm– that donate their time, money and skills together to a charity for a year.
Since 2011, BeyondMe has created 100 teams of young professionals with varying backgrounds and skills across major employers including Young MCA member firms – Accenture, Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC. Collectively the teams are donating over £500,000 of funding and 12,000 hours of business skills to charities and social enterprises.
Acts of Generosity and Leadership
BeyondMe may have only been around for four years, but we’re already witnessing acts of generosity and leadership among our movement of future leaders:
- Pete White at PwC has supported the growth of BeyondMe within the firm to 33 teams – the most so far in any corporate, engaged over 400 professionals and 33 Partners across every division, and established BeyondMe teams in a number of offices across the UK.
- Rob Rosenberg who heads up the peer-led BeyondMe Leadership Team at EY, was recognised by 2degrees as one of 25 under 25 transforming the world of sustainable business.
- Andy Moore at KPMG who led a BeyondMe team to support Spear – a charity enabling disadvantaged young people to get into education or employment – has become a young trustee of the charity.
- Roxana Sapsford at PwC is supporting Beyond Food, a charity supporting people at risk of homelessness to gain catering qualifications for employment, as a Trustee and through leading a BeyondMe team.
These are not just one-off acts; they are part of a growing commitment among professional millennials towards generosity.
A community-minded and socially conscious generation
Unlike previous generations, studies have found that current under 30-year olds place significantly more weight on the importance of making an impact with their philanthropic activity than those over 45. A World Economic Forum study found that millennials, the current generation of under-35s, ranked ‘to improve society’ as the top priority of business. And a survey of our membership concluded that 78% of respondents want a job where they can make an impact on causes they care about.
This is evidence that tomorrow’s leaders, estimated to be 75% of the global workforce by 2025, have the desire and influence to improve society. The BeyondMe movement demonstrates that millennials are already collectively contributing to society in a meaningful way. Through generosity and by working together we will advance society and ourselves as future leaders. Together we will build the most generous generation yet.
BeyondMe has recently partnered with the Young MCA to recruit like-minded young consultants who are looking to use their skills and generosity for good causes. If you are interested in leading a charitable project in your firm or want to join an existing team, visit www.BeyondMe.org or email: ambica@BeyondMe.org
Read the Generosity-Profit Logic Report here: https://static.beyondme.org/files/BeyondMe_The_Generosity_Profit_Logic_Report.pdf
Written by Anisha Patel, Partnerships & Communications, BeyondMe for Young MCA e-newsletter.