Thoughts + Articles

Great Leaders Have A Generous Heart


Dr. Albert Schweitzer said, “At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”

Great leaders share their gratitude with others!

In 1892, two 18-year-old Stanford students were struggling to pay their tuition. They decided to promote a concert with world-famous pianist Ignace Jan Paderewski to help them with their tuition shortfall. The famous pianist from Poland was touring California at the time and they extended the invitation.

Paderewski’s management agreed upon a $2,000 fee to play the concert ($53,872 in 2017 dollars). The two young men worked diligently to promote the concert, yet when the concert day arrived, the young men found they had not sold enough tickets. They had raised only $1600, not the agreed upon $2,000.

After the Concert they met with Ignace Jan Paderewski and handed him $1600 and a Promissory Note for $400. They promised to give him the $400 as soon as they could earn it.

Paderewski ripped up the Promissory Note, and said to them, “keep enough money to cover your expenses for producing the concert and to cover your tuition for the semester. I will take whatever money remains as payment in full for this performance.

Herbert Hoover Helping others:

Several years later, one of the students who promoted the show, Herbert Hoover, married his college sweetheart and became an international mining engineer. They moved to China to work as a mining consultant to the Chinese emperor. Mrs. Lou Henry Hoover was a linguist, geologist, and educator and assisted in her husband’s work. She learned to “speak and write Chinese.”

During the Hoovers’ first year in China the Chinese nationalists rebelled
“against colonial control of their nation, trapping 800 westerners and Chinese Christians in Tientsin” at the beginning of the Boxer Rebellion.

Herbert and Lou Hoover helped build protective barriers and manned them at the start of the Boxer Rebellion which lasted almost a month. Herbert, a Quaker, “rescued Chinese children caught in the crossfire during the street fighting.”

Lou Henry Hoover traveled by bicycle to care for the wounded at the local hospital and also learned to shoot a pistol for her own self-protection. She also assumed “management of a small herd of cows” providing “fresh dairy products to children.”


Herbert Hoover Brings 120,000 Stranded Americans Home from Europe as WWI Begins:

The Hoovers’ were living in London as WWI began. Herbert “was asked by US consul to organize the safe evacuation of 120,000 Americans stranded in Europe.” Later he was asked by the American ambassador to Britain “to organize relief for the 7 million people of Belgium, a country overrun and occupied by the German army and cut off from food imports by a British naval blockade. Three million French citizens were in the same plight.”

Herbert Hoover built a team of other wealthy businessmen to address the challenge. “Soon 20,000 tons of wheat were on their way to Belgium, via canal from Holland.”

Hoover negotiation skills shined again when he secured “safe passage for cargo ships, and subsequent shipments delivered millions of tons of food to war-ravaged countries. Hoover’s organization dispensed $12 million a month in supplies for the war’s duration.” That’s $615 million in 1920 dollars in food and other aid in over four years. (Christopher Connell’s article on Hoover, “In a world at war, the U.S. saved millions from starvation.”

Lou Henry Hoover helps stranded Americans in Europe as WWI began & mobilizes American women to help with the “food conservation program”.

With thousands of Americans stranded in Europe desperate to return home, “Lou Hoover provided clothing, lodging, food, information, and guidance.” When her husband becomes “chairman of the Commission for Relief in Belgium”, She organizes “a California branch of the CRB”, raising “funds for one of the first food shipments.” In 1917, after America enters WWI, Lou enlists American women to help with “the food conservation program”.


President Wilson appoints Herbert Hoover, after WWI begins as head of American Relief Administration, ARA:

Hoover, later President of the United States, feeds “starving nations in Central and Eastern Europe.”

One of these starving nations was Poland and Prime Minister Ignace Jan Paderewski asked for help to feed over 1.5 million starving people in Poland. Hoover went on to quickly send tons of food and grain to feed Poland.

 After WWI Herbert Hoover Visits Poland: When Hoover visited Poland in August 1919 he “witnessed a heartbreaking scene in Warsaw: Twenty-five thousand children had walked barefoot to pay him homage.”  He immediately telegraphed to ask for help to have the ARA send “700,000 overcoats and 700,000 pairs of shoes to Poland” before the winter season arrived. (Hoover & Poland: US Hoover)

Funding in United States Expired for American Relief: Hoover Raises Millions from Donors to Continue:

In 1919, the United States government funding expired for the ARA. Hoover passionately raised millions of dollars from private donors to transform ARA to a private organization that continued to feed millions of starving European children.

The world-famous pianist who Hoover brought into Stanford University, Paderewski, had become Prime Minister of Poland. He visited the United States, he went to see the head of the Food and Relief Administration to thank him personally for helping Poland.

As Paderewski began to thank Hoover, Hoover said, “Mr. Prime Minister, I am the one who should be thanking you. You may not remember this, but several years ago you gave a concert in Palo Alto, California. The young men who organized the concert could not afford to pay you from their ticket sales, and you generously forgave then the debt, helping them to work their way through college. I was one of those young men.”

This was the beginning of Paderewski and Herbert Hoover’s 50-year friendship.

Lou Henry Hoover continues to help America:

*Girl Scouts of America Founding years: Lou Henry Hoover devoted many hours helping the Girl Scouts beginning in 1917 as National Commissioner and in the 1920s and 1930sas a troop leader, as its GSA president twice,and as a member of the Girl Scout Council in Washington.

*She was a strong advocate and worked tirelessly for “physical fitness for girls and women. She became “the first woman”  to be vice president of the National Amateur Athletic Federation in the 1920s with a challenge to organize a women’s division. She addressed philosophic differences over competition vs. participation, issues of facilities and space for women, and the persistent lack of qualified women’s coaches.”

*She sympathized with eager students whose only impediment to higher education was a lack of funds and supported them anonymously.

The Hoovers begin a school for Appalachian families:

When Herbert and Lou Hoover were in Camp Rapidan in August 1929, they discovered “a community of impoverished Appalachian families nearby, with no tax base to provide a school for their children.”  They established “a school for the local mountain childrenas well as a small residence for the teacher they hired to instruct them, Christine Vest of Berea College. Opened on 24 February 1930, it came to be known as “The President’s Community School.”


After WWII Herbert Hoover leads “Commission for Polish Relief”: Hoover visits Poland in1946 to draft a food plan to help the “Polish economy for the next 30 years.”

Ignace Jan PaderewskiContinued Helping Others Throughout his life: Paderewski helped others through his life and beyond by providing foundations for scholarships for students at Stanford University, for the Treasury of the Professor of the Parisian Conservatory , for Ecole Normale , Moscow Conservatory students, Petersburg Conservatory students , for the British Legion, and other organizations. He also supported orphanages and the Maternity Centre in New York and built concert halls.

When Herbert Hoover, Ignace Jan Paderewski, and Lou Henry Hoover saw a need they filled it! As leaders they lead the way for others to follow giving with a generous heart.

What are 3 Qualities of Great Leaders with Generous Hearts like Ignace Jan Paderewski, Herbert Hoover, and Lou Henry Hoover?

1) Generous leaders are focused on serving others. They show respect, inspire, motivate, and encourage others to be the best version of themselves. They give others feedback not criticism. They inspire a culture of warmth and happiness for the people they serve.

“Great leaders don’t succeed because they are great. They succeed because they bring out the greatness in others.” -Jon Gordon

2) Generous leaders ask questions about their team members and their families and care about their answers. They also ask for their team members opinions and listen for their responses showing that they are important to the company and appreciated for their work.

3)  Generous leaders share their knowledge and resources openly giving their team members opportunities to learn and grow. Bruna Martinuzzi founder of Clarion Enterprises Ltd. asks, “Am I giving enough to the people around me?”

By embracing these three qualities of great leaders with generous hearts you will immediately improve your leadership skills.

Which of the 3 qualities of great leaders will you embrace first?


Madeline Frank, Ph.D. is an Best Selling Author, speaker, business owner, teacher, conductor, and concert artist. She helps businesses and organizations “Tune Up their Business”. Her observations show you the blue prints necessary to improve and keep your business successful. Her latest book “Leadership On A Shoestring Budget” is available everywhere books are sold. If you need a speaker contact Madeline at:




This entry was posted on Monday, November 5th, 2018 at 4:25 pm and is filed under Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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