Home Concepts Concepts of Leadership Community Engagement Deep Caring XXVI: The Motivations of Generativity Four

Deep Caring XXVI: The Motivations of Generativity Four

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This blending of paid and unpaid work on behalf of a specific passion is quite remarkable. In many contemporary American communities, government workers feel under-funded, unappreciated, and over-worked; and frankly, “burned out” in their formal jobs. They lack restorative energy and have little interest in adding further burdens to their lives by devoting more unpaid time to the same civic cause: “I’m already sacrificing a lot . . . so why do even more?” By contrast, the Emerging Sage leaders see themselves being involved in both formal and informal roles on behalf of their community; generativity Four is alive and well for them. They envision government as assisting and encouraging rather than providing all of the human services needed in Western Nevada County. Many Emerging Sages believe the role of government agencies is to facilitate the work of others—especially through nonprofit organizations that increasingly are risking the assumption of tasks traditionally provided by government. They see the need for government agencies to work across boundaries between themselves and others to solve community-based challenges.

The generative motivations of Emerging Sages seem to reside in the need for personal growth and the desire to contribute to the community’s sustainability. The challenges of civic engagement yield wonderful learning and skill enhancements that are great for resumes, but Emerging Sages rarely mention this benefit. At the community level their powerful motivation is to build an all-encompassing, sustainable community. And this isn’t just about the economy; it’s also about culture, social justice and compassion, and preserving their community’s distinctive natural beauty and vitality. Emerging Sages possess a pervasive sense of urgency because the challenges being faced in the community, state, and nation are onerous. These challenges will not be easily resolved. They must be confronted by multiple community-wide responses: “I am motivated because never before has there been such a need for change in the community.” “I have already seen tangible evidence that change can happen and that our community can benefit from it.”

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