All of us go through seasons in our leadership where we’re primarily receiving from others. I like to refer to this as the receiving stage. Especially when we first start out, we rely on others’ connections, resources, and support to help us get to the next level. At some point, we reach the releasing stage—where we have resources and margin to help others. At this point, we become the providers who benefited us so much when we were receiving!
The pros of releasing far outweigh the potential cons: we see other leaders grow as a result of our contributions; we help others connect to one another in new ways; we share wisdom and insight we’ve learned over years of experience. The Biblical saying is true: “Whatever you sow, you will reap.” The reason we give freely to others in the releasing stage is because we’ve experienced the same generosity.
What do you have that can benefit somebody else? How can you connect people? How can you give back? Whom are you grateful for who has helped you grow?
The potential downside of releasing is that we can misuse others generosity or vulnerability. When we help others with ulterior motives—such as trying to control them or ingratiate ourselves to them—it becomes dysfunctional. If someone is helping you, but you can tell that they want to control you instead of serve you, get out of that arrangement.
Real, authentic giving comes with no strings attached. True generosity comes from a place of gratitude. No matter which season you happen to be in right now, it’s essential to learn how to ask for help and give help.