Stewardship Resource

The Generosity Factor: Discover the Joy of Giving Your Time, Talent, and Treasure

Book Review  Book Review
  • Author: Kenneth H. Blanchard is an internationally known management consultant, organizational leader and the author.
  • Updated: 12/17/2012
  • ISBN: 0310246601
  • Copyright: Zondervan Publishing House

In the tradition of the mega-bestseller, The One Minute Manager, author Ken Blanchard and fast-food entrepreneur S. Truett Cathy (Chick-fil-A) create a parable that demonstrates the virtues of generosity, in contrast to selfishness and greed.

The Generosity Factor: Discover the Joy of Giving Your Time, Talent, and Treasure

What is the Generosity Factor?

The answer to the question is revealed through the story.  

The main characters include a Manager who is very rich, self-centered, materialistic and greedy.  The Manager's "Driver" serves the Manager and struggles to support his family. An a very wealthy "Executive" embodies generosity.  One of the lesser but very important character is the "Bag Lady" who irritates the Manager who has her arrested for panhandling in front of her building.  She turns out to be his neighbor who lives in a penthouse but becomes a "Bag Lady" in order to touch the lives of the poor.

The "Manager" reads a newspaper article in in disbelief begins a journey to discover the "Generosity Factor."

Along the line he discovers the difference between "success" and "significance." The key words for success are: wealth, achievement and status while the key words for significance are: generosity, service and relationships.

Blanchard quotes Gordon McDonald who said, "There are Driven people and there are Called people.  Driven people think they own everything; and Called people believe everything's on loan.  Driven people think they own their relationships, their property and their businesses.  They spend most of their time and energy protecting what they think they own.  Called people know that even their relationships are on loan, so they spend time fostering those relationships."

What is the Generosity Factor?

Five principles offer the key:
ޔܦHe Owns It All.
ޔܦEvery Day Is an Opportunity.
ޔܦAction is Required.
ޔܦRemember Your Blessings.
ޔܦThank Him.
(p. 104)

The answer is to look at the first letter of each principle, i.e. H E A R T. .

It is a heart changed by the grace of God. "The really interesting thing about it is that a changed heart is a generous heart.  The old way is to desire to have the good things to flow toward us.  The new way is to want the good things to flow out of us.  As a result, even greater things flow into our lives." (Page 107)

The book is a quick read.  The outcome of the story is not in doubt.  But the message is told that invites the reader to reflect on ones own values and behavior. It is memorable and it is changing lives.  

A book to loan to others as they struggle with what it means to be generous.

-Reviewed by Jerry Hoffman

Find More Stewardship Resources


Adam CopelandAdam Copeland serves as director of the Center for Stewardship Leaders.

Meet the new director