People often ask me, “What do you do?” I find it best to describe what I do in titles. I am a coach, consultant, futurist, author, blogger, speaker, inventor and benefactor.
All but one of these titles comes with a basic understanding of who and what they represent. But that last designation, “benefactor,” is one few people recognize. Rarely do people have a relationship with, and direct experience of a benefactor.
In the domain of leadership, a benefactor provides a proven pathway to wisdom. A wise leader is far more powerful and effective.
A benefactor allows a leader to unhinge him or herself from their past, distance themselves from their inner critic and break the chain of their ego-anchor. Once these are unbound, a leader is more fully self-expressed, makes better decisions and generates better relationships – inside and outside of their job.
Benefits of a Benefactor
Successful leaders have reached their victories by having advisors, coaches, consultants, counselors and mentors at various times during their careers. Having timely interactions with these professionals allowed the leader to figure out how to move the pieces, people, things and themselves, so “potential” converted into performance and performance into results.
Yet, even with their ongoing and rising success, these leaders, when able to speak privately, ask – “Is this it? Is this all there is?”
After remarkable achievements, notable victories and handling of enormous problems, successful leaders often still feel like something is missing.
Getting to the top – to be the leader – was a steep hill to climb. But now at the top of the mountain, now what? I propose that with a true benefactor, the "is this it" question dramatically diminishes or disappears altogether. Something else becomes available in a relationship with a benefactor that stops the incessant doubt – “is this it?”
But be aware, a benefactor is a rare breed. A benefactor relationship is unique. A benefactor tells the harshest truths while being deeply empathetic – what in our company we call “ruthless-compassion.” A benefactor is committed to the whole you, not just the business you – because the whole you goes to work every day.
Benefactor interactions change how you understand yourself and, therefore, how you see the world. How you see the world determines the actions you take, which in turn determine the outcomes you produce. According to this algorithm - if you want to generate better outcomes, the first thing to change is yourself.
Me as a Benefactor
The dictionary definition of a benefactor is someone who provides an advantage; a person who can “bequest.” A bequest is an act of giving or leaving something by will. In my role as a benefactor, I bequeath wisdom. Wisdom is the highest level of knowing – both of the world and of “self.”
Another definition of the benefactor is someone who provides an advantage; a person who can “endow.” An endowment is giving or leaving something by will. I endow wisdom in leaders - wisdom that enhances a leader’s life and leadership effectiveness.
By definition, a benefactor is a person that confers benefits. A benefactor is someone who thoughtfully offers to help someone else other than themselves.
As a benefactor, I am far more than just a helper, teacher, mentor, or coach, although those might play a role. My job is to be the bringer of light, support, principles, insights and self-discovery to a leader.
Benefactors are rigorous guides to a leader’s inner self and provide untarnished assessments of a leader’s performance.
Benefactors enable leaders to uncover previously unexamined beliefs about themselves. These beliefs are most often self-limiting and, many times, self-defeating. Benefactors, by definition, bequeath. In my work, as a benefactor, I bequeath wisdom.
Wisdom alters how leaders see themselves and the world. It enables leaders to see the underlying source rather than just the parts of the issue. Wisdom reveals the whole truth about themselves to themself. The wiser the leader, the more successful they become.
As a leader, it might be time to “wise up” and find a benefactor that you can fully trust, who will bequeath wisdom upon you.
“You are not a drop in the ocean.
You are the entire ocean in a drop.” - Rumi