Social Impact Challenge: Elevate Yourself
Who's the best manager or teacher you've ever had? Mine was Mrs. Brooksby, my honors English teacher in 10th grade. Our assignment was to write a paper comparing Walt Whitman with Emily Dickinson. At the time, it was important to me to be contrary. To go against the norm. I was working through a difficult situation at home and expressing it through any kind of rebellion I could find at school. English was the only class that I found interesting enough to at least do the assignments – even if I rarely did them the way I was supposed to. For this particular assignment, I decided to write it as if I had a personal vendetta against Emily Dickinson. I raged about her writing – why it was weak and transparent and claimed to be vulnerable when it wasn’t. I compared her to Whitman’s brilliance and had nothing but praise for him. It was an inaccurate analysis. It missed so much of the depth of both writers. But Mrs. Brooksby loved it. She said one of her greatest hopes as a teacher was that students would find the courage in her classes to write from a place of wildness. “A place of wildness”! I loved how I looked in her eyes. I believed – and never stopped believing from that moment on – that I had something to say. I doubt she saw herself as anything more than a teacher, but she was a leader, an influencer. Her whole heart was focused on helping others believe in their own becoming.
You, as a social impact professional, have the same opportunity and power Mrs. Brooksby did – to empower others to believe in and live into their full potential. Cultivating that power is key to building a sustainable, scalable social impact program – one full of empowered leaders equipped to execute your mission. If you’re used to being a “doer”, it may be difficult to hone into that “influencer” part of your identity, and that’s okay. We’re here to help you shift. I want to challenge you to practice thinking of yourself as building and leading a small company within your company. Your social impact program is that company. Start organizing everything you do under one comprehensive strategic framework – from programs, to supporters, to people, to all of the elements that contribute to achieving your objectives. We know this is easier said than done, so be sure to check out Realized Worth’s new online portal (available October 2022) with all the tools you need get the job done and become the best at what you do (learn more here).
If the outcomes and impacts of the program really matter – if we are really in this to do something that makes the world a better place – we need to find the right people, deputize them, and empower them to lead. Every volunteer leader has the opportunity to become objectively great at what they do and how they lead. When they volunteer with your company, they are going to tell stories about what they learned and who they’re becoming because of your leadership. Yes, they’ll talk about volunteering and community impact, and they’ll talk about how much it matters to be given this opportunity within the context of the company. So, stop doing and start multiplying. It’s a big ask, so start with a few small things. Not sure how to start, re-organize, or fix your network of volunteer leaders? We’ve got tools for that! Give us a call or submit your info here to learn more about RW’s new online portal coming October 2022.