In 2019, let’s support the drivers, the givers, the change agents
I don’t know why I’m so driven – to make an impact, drive change, make business and the world better. People always ask me why I’m so passionate, and the reality is, I don’t know why I am. All I know is I don’t know how not to be. Anyone else relate?
To me, being passionate is about feeling alive. If I’m going to do anything, commit to anything, it’s got to be all-in, or why bother? All I know is, I would feel empty without something to get excited about.
I appreciate not everyone is made of the same stuff – which is definitely a good thing. We couldn’t cope with everyone being like this…. Well maybe we could, but the world would be a crazy place! In a good way.
However, one thing I do know, as I come to the end of another fantastic year, completely exhausted because I’ve given my all again, is this…
Let’s get behind those doing great work
We must take care of the drivers of change – the Social Change Leadership. Take care of those who dream big and challenge the status quo.
Take care of those on the front line, fighting for a better world for all of us.
Take care of those leading the charge on equality, diversity, human dignity, and more.
We must also take care of the drivers for change in our businesses too. Social Change Leadership includes professionals with new ideas or ways of doing things. Professionals focused on customer delight, or even better, employee delight. They might not have all the answers to implement change, but it is the vision and the idea that is worthy of attention and effort to implement.
Even when it doesn’t make that much sense to you.
In fact, if you feel confused by the ideas they’re presenting, if they’re passionate, give them the time and space to explain it and be open to what they say. That is often all they ask.
They are driven by a better world
Because the status quo sucks the life out of these people every day of the working week. They don’t seek change because they want to be a pain in the ass. They seek it because they know it can be better. And when it’s better, all benefit.
You can always tell who the Social Change Leadership are too. Bright light shines from their eyes. It’s also when you know they’re defeated. The bright shining light gets extinguished.
I hate seeing that light extinguished. It is a death to be mourned, because sometimes it’s just too hard. The battle to be heard wears people out. The fight goes out of them. They are done!
We have to take care of these people, who have a passion to do good in the world, a passion that could make our air, water and earth cleaner, our businesses better places for all of us, our lives more equitable, our dreams more achievable. Take care of them, because they need it.
They really do! Especially the ones not being heard enough… or at all
When despair came knocking
As an example, I recall reading an article (can’t find it now) on the torment of the founder of Earth Hour, Andy Ridley, when the first Paris Climate Agreement failed. He went into despair, wandering in the woods, not able to understand what it would take to wake everyone up?
Back then, he was exhausted. He’d been fighting for so long and it failed. Progress has been made since, but I wonder how he is feeling today?
I think of all the people who’ve been fighting for climate change, years or decades before anyone else started thinking about it. They were fighting when no one wanted to listen. And unsurprisingly, they are tired. Do you know someone? Are they worn out?
I am fortunate to be surrounded by so many amazing people across the business world, as well as those working to save the environment, build sustainable fashion businesses, fight for human rights, and so much more.
I’ll do anything to help them, but I’ve discovered my most important job is to give them an energy boost. A word or two to tell them I know they’re completely exhausted. That they feel at the end of their tether. That it all feels impossible right now.
And to those remarkable people, I say: keep going. You’re doing awesome work. Drive through the exhaustion. Drive through the despair. Drive through the apathy. Keep going. Keep going for all of us. We need you to fight the fight until more wake up.
That’s what they need – support, belief, and words of encouragement.
Who can you boost up?
If you have someone around you, someone part of the social change leadership fighting passionately for something you believe in too, can you give them a boost? Tell them they’re awesome. Tell them they matter. Because sometimes, they need to hear it. Sometimes it’s all they need to pick themselves up again and keep fighting.
Even if they look like everything is going awesomely – the coverage is great, the attention out-of-this-world – add your support too, because all is never as it appears. Your support is important, because in the backend, they are relentlessly building impact, but boy, that takes a lot of energy and it takes a long time. There are a lot of hits on the way too. Believe me. I know.
Too often we are only paying attention to the surface and it looks great. That’s the social media perception. The world seems to relish in this fabricated space today. We need to go deeper and think deeper.
Because there is an incredible grind in the background. Day after day. Week after week. For many, the challenge is how to sustain themselves financially. Other’s face the challenge of doing great work and being a good spouse, parent or other. And for many, it’s a case of how do they do their day job and fit this in too – which is usually a requirement?
How can you support them financially or get them access to finances?
If you know someone doing great work, what can you do to take some of the grind away – which makes exhaustion and failure easier to avoid?
Can you introduce them to investors to get their dreams off the ground?
Can you introduce them to people that matter?
Can you sponsor their activities to help them succeed? Champion them within your business?
Can you buy their products/services and show them you believe in them?
Can you share their message and help them hit a bigger audience?
What can you do to reduce the grind for the people you believe in, so they can get on with making the world better for all of us?
Let’s get behind the givers
As this year comes to a close, I just want to encourage everyone to really think about what we can all do to help those around us succeed – in whatever way makes sense to us. More so for those really driving important change in the world. How can we help them sustain their energy levels for the good of us all?
Apathy is a reality in our world. The last few years have been a wake up call in regard to where apathy can take us, but we don’t have to keep going in the ugly direction this world is headed in. We can make a change, and it starts closer to home than we think.
Let’s make 2019 the year we put our best foot forward and even if we don’t want to lead the change, we can help by supporting the drivers, the givers, the change agents who are willing to step up and fight for all of us. Let’s lift them up so we can all be lifted too.
Anyone want to join me? Tag those you think are doing an incredible job and tell them you believe in them too.
And with that I wish you the best of times during the festive season, and thank you for the incredible support you’ve shown me in 2018 too. It means the world to me.
Want proof social change leadership transforms business and attracts customers?
Check out this case study with IBM Asia Pacific. Incredible results.
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I believe it’s time for all of us to embrace our voice and embrace the future. We do this by working and living out loud with meaning, intention and by being true to ourselves.
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