Singer George Michael passed away on Christmas Day of 2016. He was well known for his musical works, but many had no idea how many charities he supported quietly behind the scenes. He was a dedicated philanthropist who made generous donations without the public's knowledge.

But it wasn't just his money that he gave freely. He also did performances for charities, donating his time. He used his fame to make others aware of different causes, but it wasn't until after his death that the magnitude of his generosity was known.

If You Had Millions, You'd Give Some Away Too, Right?

You may think to yourself that it's easy for someone with lots of money to be generous. But there are countless stories of selfless generosity, like the janitor who quietly amassed a multi-million dollar fortune. He lived frugally and drove second-hand vehicles his entire life. He left millions to his local library and hospital.

And remember, generosity doesn't stop with money. You may have heard the story of a man traveling with his young baby. The child was upset on the airplane, and the man couldn't soothe the baby. A woman sitting next to the frazzled man offered to hold the baby, and she was able to calm the child.

Being Generous Means More Than Just Giving Money

Imagine donating your time to build a home for someone in need. Or driving an older adult to their appointment because they can't drive safely anymore. Or spending time walking dogs in an animal shelter. Whatever you donate, you can give so much more than just material things.

Real generosity is doing something nice for someone who will never find out.

Frank A. Clark

Generosity is more than just giving something physical to someone. Most of us do not have millions of dollars to donate, as much as we would like to. But you can still be generous. Generosity is about sacrifice; it costs you financially, or it costs your time, or efforts. It's giving something that you would have liked to have yourself.

How Generosity Relates To Collaboration

Generosity is one of the 4 pillars under the competency of Collaboration in the i4 Neuroleader Model. To invite others to collaborate with us, it is essential to know how to build partnerships and how to be generous with your time, knowledge and resources to minimise feelings of threat and competition.

The i4 Neuroleader Program will help you explore your spirit of generosity, first by making you aware of how you come across to others and secondly by sharing simple strategies that you will be able to apply in your life right away.

i4 Neuroleader Model Framework

5 Tips For Generosity

  1. Organise a team building activity
  2. Make decisions including others
  3. Write a note to say thank you
  4. Visit a hospital
  5. Cook for friends

The next time you gather a pile of stuff to donate, don't just take your old stuff. Walk in and offer your time. Or visit the animal shelter or a hospital.

Generosity means giving, but you will find that you are giving yourself the greatest gift--happiness and the understanding that you are improving someone's life. 

Originally posted on: 5 October 2017
Last updated on: 18 February 2024
Silvia Damiano

Silvia Damiano

Founder & CEO
About my Brain Institute

Scientist, educator, author, speaker, coach, award-winning leadership specialist, filmmaker and creator of the i4 Neuroleader Model & Methodology.

Silvia's scientific background and curiosity about the human brain led her to a decade long journey of research into optimal brain functioning and the application of neuroscience in leadership and daily life. Her past and current roles have uniquely prepared her for the current undertaking, that of leadership activist & change agent.

Silvia Damiano founded The About my Brain Institute in 2009, with the purpose of democratising leadership & neuroscience. She has a passionately held belief, that leaders in our 21st century global economy and their organisations must radically change long-held ideas of what constitutes effective leadership

In her ground-breaking books ‘Leadership is Upside Down’, ‘Brain-Friendly Leadership’ and the 2018 documentary ‘Make Me A Leader’, Silvia provides both compelling evidence and explores the importance of leadership in our personal and professional lives and what it takes to develop the human behind the leader.

Silvia has worked in different countries, across many industries, helping teams and organisations improve business performance. Silvia’s clients have described her as a passionate, dynamic, a highly experienced speaker and master facilitator on the topics of Emotional Intelligence, Cultural Change, Neuroleadership & Engagement.

Silvia is passionate about leaving a legacy of well-rounded leaders who can act and decide in a way that better serves humanity. Her clients include Microsoft, Australian Stock Exchange, NSW Government, VISA, Fuji Xerox and Manpower amongst many other global companies.

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