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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Success Often Comes in Small Packages

The 50 Emerging and 50 Senior Sage leaders find gratification at many different levels when speaking about the satisfaction and meaning they derive from their work. It could be a small or big success. Most importantly, they experience their work as “making a difference.” This seems to be critical and at the core of the Sage leader generative experience in civic engagement.

Sage leaders often say they gain most satisfaction from seeing changes in the people with whom they work: a mother and father being re-united, helping someone who is homeless getting food and shelter. This sense of success is particularly poignant in the case of Habitat for Humanity. Volunteers see a single parent work hard for 600 hours in helping to build and move into her new home. The new homeowner is not just handed a gift; she works alongside volunteers in constructing it. There is a profound sense of accomplishment for both the new homeowner and the volunteer homebuilders. It is these small successes that bring great satisfaction. Moreover, such successes helped to build a strong foundation for Habitat as an organization.

Small things amount to big results when it comes to the well-being of the community. Repeatedly, Sages note the benefit they receive from contributing in important ways to the quality of community life. In some instances, these community-wide contributions are acknowledged, but recognition and appreciation are not critical to Sage leaders – just nice, a sign that a vital link has been made between their organization and the community.

Sage leaders find it is not just a matter of being successful that is important; working with others to bring about the success is the heart of the matter. Sages report great, generative heart-felt joy and gratification in working toward a shared goal with the men and women who bring differing perspectives and talents to a common cause. Furthermore, when the shared goal is achieved, it is witnessed in very tangible ways—in the accumulation of many small successes.

 

 

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