Are you a Generous Mind?

Are you a Generous Mind? If you are intrigued by the idea, this is a place to explore what it means to you. Our blog focuses on helping you to learn what it means to be generous with what you know. You will find helpful tips and encouraging examples that will inspire you to release your ideas to the world! Find out more at

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Generous Performer

I saw a great example of being a Generous Mind at church yesterday. Usually we have a drummer who sits behind the plastic shields and does his thing. But this Sunday they were using some bongo drums and creative percussion instruments - like those rainmaker sticks.

Anyway, there was a man playing percussion and next to him was, I assume, his son. His son was on several of the smaller instruments. He did a wonderful job, but I could tell that this was a father who was teaching his son.

What an amazing thing to watch a father trust his son in front of a big crowd and to watch the son follow the dad's lead as they worked through each song. I could see a father who had invested in his son in a special way.

What a challenge to us. How are we being generous with what we know? How are we taking those ideas and proactively sharing them with many more people?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

How Starbucks Saved My Life, a book review

How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else, by Michael Gates Gill

Gill is a gifted storyteller. He unravels his tale of how his life went from having a great job, a wonderful family, and a beautiful home; to a lonely little apartment with no job. He describes how an opportunity at Starbucks changed him from the inside, giving him a second chance at life and happiness.

Digressing often, he weaves into the story, anecdotes from his past where we learn more about this man who is wearing a green apron and Starbucks cap just to survive. We see him with Robert Frost and the Queen of England, and realize just how strange it is for him to be mixing coffees and passing them across the counter to average people in New York City. Even stranger, for him to be liking his new job, feeling happiness he never felt before.

His story clearly demonstrates the values of the Starbucks company and how value and respect for others can transform a workplace. He describes a striking contrast between his old job and status and his new job, taking us on a journey from his old attitudes and prejudices to a new value and respect for others.

This book was a joy to read. I was truly happy for the author as he went through his journey of discovery. It is a must read for anyone who manages people, as he contrasts how he used to manage people without much respect to how he was managed with care and respect as a barista at Starbucks.

Gill is an example of a generous mind—sharing his transformational experience in a powerful and meaningful way.