Can You Outsource Generosity?

By Dan O'Brien | Updated: 26 Jan, 2016

Our social newsfeeds are filled with articles about gratitude and generosity. Amidst the countless posts on productivity hacks, some of the most productive business minds attest that mindful, gracious, and generous orientation will unleash your greatest energy to move ahead and grow your business.

We all know it feels good to give. The more thoughtful and authentically we give, the better it makes us feel. But who has the time?

A recent executive who signed on with us wanted to practice better time management through delegation in the workplace. He asked to have his virtual executive assistant set up a process in his Amazon account to drop-ship gifts to friends and businesses associates he wanted to thank.

This got us thinking: Is it possible to outsource your generosity?

Here are a few ways we thought of for doing just that.

  • Set up that gift-giving process. Yes, authenticity is everything. But there is a way that your assistant can help you while keeping it personal. As you get to know someone, remember to tag their contact record in your CRM with their personal tastes. Taking the time to do this will ultimately show that you cared to listen. In fact, it will help you become a better listener. When it comes time to send a gift, your assistant will have everything needed to find the gift you want to send. Your assistant will enjoy the research, as you’ve now equipped her with the information she needs. And the recipient of the gift will know you listened, as well as be impressed that you remembered.

  • Donate your assistant’s time. Among younger tech executives, we often hear that they are worried that a new assistant managing their schedule will seem pretentious. They want to save on scheduling ping-pong and travel arrangements, but they don’t want to be seen as having an inflated ego. One way to overcome this is to donate your assistant’s time. The next time your friends are getting together or your affinity group needs to find a place to meet, ask your assistant to do the research and coordinate everyone’s schedule. The assistant they may have otherwise found annoying will now be appreciated. Your friends will appreciate you for the gesture and you’ll feel great about their gratitude.

  • Use your new free time to give more. If you feel at all guilty or inauthentic about outsourcing the types of generosity above, then simply use the extra time to give more of yourself to others. This will instantly mute that guilt. Use the time, for example, to further coach and mentor an employee who could use your guidance. The employee will benefit and appreciate the time. Your company will prosper and the ripple effect of this generosity will extend to your other employees, your customers, and your investors.

The newsfeeds are right: Generosity will enhance and extend your life. It will also boost your professional achievement. You can’t outsource the impulse or desire to be generous. But you certainly can outsource many of the activities that allow you to deliver on your generous intent. Moreover, you can also use any time that your assistant saves you to give of your time to help others. There is nothing more authentically giving than that.