Radical Generosity


Radical generosity has been gaining popularity in recent years, particularly within the leadership community. It refers to the act of giving freely, without expectation of receiving anything in return. An abundant mindset is the wellspring of generosity. Those who believe there is enough for everyone have a deep trust that sharing their resources, knowledge, and opportunities with others can only lead to good results. Conversely, those with a scarcity mindset tend to keep their assets to themselves, in fear that sharing their limited resources will put them at a disadvantage. Both mindsets are understandable, but which type of person would you rather work with?

I am incredibly grateful to work for a firm that is not only successful but also deeply committed to giving back. I am inspired by the generosity of my colleagues at Emergent, and proud to be a part of this culture of giving.

As leaders, practicing radical generosity brings significant benefits to our organizations and coworkers. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Creates a culture of trust: When leaders practice radical generosity, they signal to their team that they are trustworthy and can be relied upon. This creates mutual openness, which is essential for effective communication and collaboration.
  2. Fosters innovation: Radical generosity encourages people to think creatively and share their ideas freely. This leads to the development of new and innovative solutions, which might have been stifled by closed-minded thinking and guarded communication.
  3. Builds strong relationships: Giving freely and abundantly builds strong relationships, both within and outside of the organization. When leaders are generous, they create a sense of community and belonging, which leads to increased engagement and loyalty among team members.
  4. Positively impacts society: Practicing radical generosity helps to create a more equitable and inclusive world. Sharing resources and opportunities with those who are less fortunate bends the arc of the universe toward justice, to paraphrase Dr. King.

Creating a culture of radical generosity is not easy. The old school of business productivity puts profit above all else. Concerns about the bottom line, however valid, can harden into an attitude of fear. Once the scarcity mindset has taken hold, it’s difficult to root out. But the benefits of generosity outweigh the risks. Abundant thinking won’t tank your business. On the contrary, it will increase productivity, while also making the workplace more exciting, enjoyable, and just.

Radical generosity is a valuable pattern of behavior for leaders and their organizations. It helps foster trust, innovation, strong relationships, and positive social impact. As a leader, it is important to practice radical generosity and to encourage others to do the same, in order to create an abundant and equitable world for all.

I would be happy to support you on your journey of growth and development. Emergent specializes in helping leaders discover their values and purpose, so that the work they do becomes more aligned with who they are. To see how we can build momentum and velocity in your work, send me an email at jeremiah@getemergent.com.

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  1. Robert Napoletano on March 22, 2023 at 9:28 am


    There are a lot of definitions for these two words I chose this  Radical Generosity: Giving that is unprompted as one feels an overflowing of energy and decides to share that with others. It is the threshold level of energy in which one no longer feels a need to direct their energy towards self-preservation/fulfillment and can redirects awareness towards the service of others.

    After reading your article, I tried to think where I fit in the giving and generosity bucket. First, I think there are at least three kinds of giving that need our consideration. First, is the giving of our knowledge. The older you are the more knowledge you have gained, hopefully. One needs to consider how to share this knowledge so that the things you have learned can be used by others that have yet to have the fortune to learn those things. Second, is the giving of time to help those that need your help. Things like neighborhood clean-ups, working with Habitat for Humanity, or going to a nursing home to sit and talk with the folks that live there. And finally, giving financial assistance to charitable organizations.

    In each of these categories there are many worthy causes and there is a lot of work that goes into choosing which to be generous with your time, knowledge, and money. You can be radically generous even if your organization isn’t. I have worked in organizations that are generous and some that are not. If I am generous, it feels good to me, knowing I may have helped others. Maybe you can get things started just by your actions.

    • Jeremiah on March 22, 2023 at 12:25 pm

      Robert, thank you for the thoughtful reflection on this piece!

      I completely agree with your thoughts on the different forms of giving and generosity. Giving of one’s knowledge, time, and financial resources are all valuable ways to contribute to the betterment of society and the people around us. It is important to consider how we can share our knowledge and skills to benefit others, as well as find ways to dedicate our time and resources to charitable causes that align with our values.

      I appreciate your point that we can still be radically generous even if our organization is not. Our individual actions can still make a difference and inspire others to be more giving and generous as well. Ultimately, giving and generosity are powerful forces that can bring about positive change in the world and enrich our own lives in the process.

      I firmly believe that local community leadership has the opportunity to change the world. But, are we willing to meet our opportunities with generosity?

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