There was a time when people who wanted to perform some form of humanitarian work would have to leave home and go to a faraway place to do so.
Those days are long gone. Changing the world starts a lot closer to home than we realise!
As the collective consciousness of the world evolves to a more emotionally mature level, so business leaders and their employees are discovering that they want to make a difference in the world, apart from simply making money. This has led to people looking for opportunities to make a difference as part of their careers. But many feel frustrated because they are still under the impression that they will have to leave their places of employment in order to change the world.
It’s no longer necessary for you to resign, leave the company to go and save the whales. If you’re working for one of the progressive companies that have created opportunities for their staff to engage in well doing, you will be able to seize the opportunity to do good while doing your work. Some companies have set up committees which assess proposals from staff members regarding charitable projects that involve helping orphanages, day care centres, places of shelter, schools in impoverished areas, animal shelters and so on.
Those proposals that meet with the committee’s approval then win the relevant staff members one or more days off every month to be able to help out in the organisation they wish to support. Some companies even go so far as to create a small fund from which the charities of choice of staff members receive an agreed contribution from the fund.
This type of arrangement is a win-win for all concerned. The charitable organisation wins by getting additional help from the company’s staff member/s, the employee wins by feeling that they’re making a meaningful contribution in the world, the company wins by improving their BBBEE status, enjoying some good PR as a caring organisation as well as ending up with a highly engaged employee who appreciates the opportunity their employer has given them to make a difference in the world.
The beauty of such an approach is that there are no losers. Companies don’t experience a loss of productivity when employees are off doing charitable work. Those employees who undertake such work become so motivated that they’re able to get through what they need to do in the available time. It’s amazing what can be achieved by energised, focused employees!
As companies come to understand that they, too, are citizens of communities, more of them will play a constructive role in their communities rather than simply take what they can. The “take” model, which has dominated over the past decade has demonstrated how short-term and short-sighted it is. It’s a fascinating principle that the nature of bacteria is that they will kill the very living organism they feed off. The same principle applies to corrupt individuals who seek to siphon as much money as possible from state and other entities for their own benefit. They are blind to the reality that their actions will end up killing the very goose that lays the golden eggs they’re stealing.
Ask yourself if you – and your company – are takers or givers. We all like to form an opinion of ourselves that is based not on the reality of who we are but on the mistaken belief of who we would like to think we are.
If you want to change the world for the better, you don’t have to look to help out in faraway places. Your help is needed right in your own neighbourhood, so to speak. There are people and organisations desperately calling out for people just like you. Only you can hear and answer that call. It’s a call to give of yourself in the interests of making the world safer, happier, more comfortable, kinder, friendlier and more equal. If you answer that call, you will have set yourself apart from the grabbers and takers who are just in life for themselves.
Greatness is about selflessness, not selfishness.
Alan Hosking is the Publisher of HR Future magazine, www.hrfuture.net, @HRFuturemag. He is a recognised authority on leadership skills for the future and teaches business leaders and managers of all generations how to lead with integrity, purpose and agility. In 2018, he was named by US-based web site Disruptordaily.com as one of the "Top 25 Future of Work Influencers to Follow on Twitter".