What is Contribution?
Contribution is the giving of our time, energy, ideas, knowledge, emotion, assistance, money, etc., to the community. Demonstrating leadership through contribution includes participation in and support of the communities that are relevant to the field you operate within and the team(s) you lead.
Key Questions for Contribution in Leadership
The following key questions will help you to apply this criterion in practice to become a great leader.
What have you contributed to the community?
Leaders extend themselves into new ventures and contribute their ideas and discoveries back into their chosen field of expertise.
There are many different ways you can contribute. For example, you can offer your time and energy to support others, either through industry forums or groups or via charitable organizations. By exploring new areas of your field and publishing this information you can provide thought leadership to others. Documenting best practices and procedures and sharing these through training programs and conferences also helps to improve the overall level of excellence within the community. Mentoring up-and-coming individuals within your organization is another excellent way to share your skills and experience.
What investments of your time, effort, money, intelligence, etc. have you contributed?
Look back and review the various contributions you have made in relation to your team, field of expertise and community. Also, review how often you have made these investments and how long it has been since you last did so. Consider whether these contributions would inspire and motivate yourself or others to participate and to follow your lead.
What are you doing now?
You can choose to contribute in any moment. What are you doing right now that is contributing to others? What else could you be doing? If you are reading this article, perhaps you could research some useful or interesting information to distribute to others or even write something of your own to be shared.
There is no better time than now to begin contributing to others!
Being a Contributing Leader
True leaders serve their community by investing self, time, and energy and by contributing to the health and vitality of those who follow. We can see this for example in famous business leaders like Fred Smith (FedEx), Herb Kelleher (Southwest Airlines) and Bill Gates (Microsoft), all of whom have participated in significant ways to support their employees and engaged in external activities to develop their respective fields and also support educational and charitable organisations.
How much do you contribute to your community and your team? What else could you contribute right now?