Home Concepts Concepts of Leadership Community Engagement Deep Caring XXV: Generativity Four—The Satisfaction of Civic Engagement

Deep Caring XXV: Generativity Four—The Satisfaction of Civic Engagement

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Emerging Sage Leaders

The sources of generative meaning and satisfaction for Emerging Sages include achieving organizational success, aiding others, helping the community to improve, the intense feelings that can arise from collaboration and consensus-building, and personal and professional growth.

The primary Generativity Four satisfaction that Emerging Sages get is participating in activities that lead to the achievement of organizational goals. Specific examples include: opening a new high school on the assumption that there is more than one way to go about education, leading school culture away from intimidation and bullying to a place where everyone can be heard and respected, turning around an organization’s reputation, knowing that a government agency is making a huge difference, finding a committed group of people who really want to change the school food program, mentoring an executive director, learning that systems integration can work, and a surprise discovery that teamwork can reduce school layoffs while sustaining governmental services in the face of budget cuts:

What is most meaningful and satisfying is that our efforts have led to an ability to sustain most core Health & Human Services programs. When one branch is operating in the red due to the vagaries of funding, another branch helps out until solutions are found. There is a pendulum of funding in hard times. By pulling together and thinking creatively, we are able to sustain more than we ever could by retreating to our individual silos.

Emerging Sage leaders also derive great satisfaction in learning they have assisted others and made a difference in their lives. This is where Generativity Four meets Generativity Two. Examples include projects for youth and the elderly, helping kids who have a terrible home experience, developing work programs for families on public assistance, seeing what a difference mentoring makes in a child’s life, and finding loving homes for abandoned dogs. And there are also the intimate encounters in helping others:

I get to see everything I am working toward in the faces of children every day. I feel confident I can walk into any classroom at any time and will see something amazing taking place. It is incredibly rewarding. And occasionally they make me brownies.


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