I love to give gifts. Purchased or prepared, investment or freebie, gift giving brings me great joy.
As I shared in my previous post, I realize that not all of you share my gift giving sentiments. For some leaders, thinking of gift ideas for their team sucks all the joy right out of the season. Bah humbug!
But do not despair dear leader!
With a little thought, you can give meaningful gifts to those you lead this Christmas. (Because who really needs another kitten calendar or Santa mug?) Gifts that invest in their growth, encourage them into their potential, and empower others will more accurately express your gratitude, glad tidings, and goodwill.
My 3 favorite empowering gifts for those you lead:
1. Books to Inspire Them: A challenging, thought-provoking book really is a gift that keeps on giving. (Why not add a gift card to their favorite coffee spot to caffeinate their reading experience?) If you want to help start someone’s leadership library, check out my top 10 books for leaders or my recommended reads for women leaders. Or consider one of my favorite reads from 2013:
- Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
- The Heart of Leadership by Mark Miller
- Just Lead by Sherry Surratt and Jenni Catron
- Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
- Wonderstruck by Margaret Feinberg
2. Coaching to Equip Them: A genuine investment in their potential, the gift of coaching not only benefits your team member, but your organization as well. Leadership coaching not only helps those who are stuck or stalled, it also encourages those looking to grow in their strengths and abilities. I offer several coaching packages that can help your team members start the New Year with enthusiasm and direction.
3. Gifts to Enlighten Them: Why not give a gift that gives back? The following are five of my favorite sources for gifts that enlighten us to global opportunities and empower others at the same time:
- Home goods and accessories from Bajalia Trading Company empower vulnerable artisans in places like Afghanistan and Thailand. Their motto is, “changing the world while shopping the world.” I met innovative founder Debbie Farah years ago at church and have loved seeing their product line, and impact, continue to grow. (They are now regularly featured on the Home Shopping Network!)
- Colorful and comfy Punjammies (pajamas) from International Princess Project “create pathways to freedom for women escaping the ravages of sex slavery in India.” A friend gifted me with a pair for my birthday and now I have four sets!
- Aprons, table linens, and other wearables from Imagine Goods are both beautiful and life-giving. I first met co-founder Aiyana Ehrman last year on my life-changing trip to Southeast Asia. They are “creating products that care for the human race. . . so that a new generation has a fighting chance to break the cycle of poverty.”
- I receive compliments on my handmade Ugandan paper bead necklaces every time I wear them. These products are created through ALARM microfinance projects that empower women “through a purchase that changes lives and transforms communities” in East Africa.
What gifts have empowered you? What would you add to the list?