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Should leaders share, Juan Mata and our story of stationery in Africa?

23 Aug 08:00 by Fiona McKay

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Inspired by Manchester United’s Spanish Star Juan Mata, who has promised to give 1% of his earnings to charity and has urged all fellow professional footballer’s to do the same, it prompted me to ask the following questions:

Should all leaders share?

We are very privileged to be working with some of the best leaders in the world and there is one quality that I’ve identified unites them all - they all have “sharing” in their DNA.   Fundamentally, they share their knowledge and experience.  They feel compelled to teach others or donate their time to philanthropic causes that truly make a difference.  They use their platform sensitively and also use their position and power to positvely influence change in people, countries, regions and continents without expecting any reward in return.  Its just what they do.

What do the worst leaders do?

Every day its the same for those leaders who feel threatened or are consumed by imposter syndrome or fall foul to becoming a pawn in internal politics and power games.  They hoard - simple as that and keep things for themselves.  Its a tactic that has often been rewarded so they repeat it.  They simply hold on to any and all information as a weapon to be used to make others feel threatened and insecure.  It’s still worrying how many aspiring leaders repeat this as a learnt behaviour, especially if it's been rewarded in the previous hierarchy.

What have we done?

We had tons of stationery and pens left over from our previous branding before we changed our name to Lightbulb Leadership.  Just as we were about to declutter and get rid, I reached out to Pens for Kids - seeing if our old stuff might be of use.  Malcolm their founder, put me onto Save The Poor International in Ghana and they snapped our hands off for our stationery & pens.  The postage cost more than the contents but I sent it anyway. Three weeks later the box arrived and they photo’s that followed filled us with such joy.  Maybe one day one of our old pens and paper allows a child the chance that makes a difference and creates opportunity in their lives, so they too may become Lightbulb Leaders ™ in the world!

It’s a privilege to share and yes, leaders should give back in whatever capacity that they can.

About the Author: Fiona McKay is the Managing Director of Lightbulb Leadership Solutions and the founder of Fiona-McKay.Com.  She helps the C Suite to advance and improve stand out leaders, able to solve the toughest business challenges, execute complex change and improve results in performance & profits.  She is also a keynote and motivational speaker on leadership and change. You can also connect with Fiona on Twitter @Follow_Fiona.