Gandhi famously encouraged humankind to “be the change, that we wish to see in the world!”
This is no different in the world of business.
Traditionally, success is defined through capitalism – In the words of Jay Z, the numbers don’t lie. But like Jay Z, your motivations for making money, are guided by your motivation for starting in the first place.
The more you create and sell, the more you earn. That is the aim of being in business these days..isn’t it?
I would wager that CEOs who still strive for the ‘good ole days’ of money making face a daily dilemma – how do they turn their businesses from market driven sheep to social impacting shepherds?
How do they achieve the balance between healthy balance sheets and healthy social good?
I believe that it starts with what I call a Corporate Social Leadership mindset – a way of thinking that places social impact at the very heart of the business, in a way that encourages an inclusive level of self-leadership.
A way of eliminating hierarchy in its traditional sense and creating a culture of mutual respect, both of every individual and every position. An approach that integrates all stakeholders to have a sense of ownership and a sense of purpose within the strategic growth plans of the business.
Cultiv8 Solutions was founded to help businesses benefit from creating more social impact.
Let me share the ethos behind my 12 Step Corporate Social Leadership process, that we use to help CEOs, entrepreneurs and staff to become a social leaders:
1) Create an inclusive vision of the end game – if you give others a sense of ownership of what success will look and feel like, it actually encourages loyalty, trust and respect.
2) Embrace fear – fear is a state of mind where we act as if the negative has or will occur. But fear also provides an intense understanding of reality, that requires action. Without action, fear gets stronger.
3) Speak an inclusive language – listen to the needs of others and be honest in areas where you don’t understand.
4) Build a flexible plan – Business growth is important, but so is the ability to adapt to future social trends and changes as they arise.
5) Be committed – don’ t just talk the talk, walk the walk!
6) Make the necessary sacrifices – success is not a given. You must do what you have to do to, when you have to do it, or stagnation can occur.
7) Learn the lessons you don’t want to be taught – life is like poker, you have to play the hand you are dealt and be willing to learn harsh lessons along the way. Business is no different.
8) Beware of frenemies – suppliers, partners and other ‘allies’ must share the same values as you and you with them, otherwise the foundations of the relationship will crumble away over time. Trust must be earned.
9) Understand that mentoring comes in many guises – having the right support is crucial, but so is having a gut instinct. Not every avenue taken by others, offers you the same destination, so embrace guidance wisely.
10) Be a sponge – you can learn as much from a child who sees the simplicity in all things, to a sage with years of wisdom and experience. Learn what you can, wherever you can, but remember that knowledge is only potential power until you use it!
11) Celebrate successes – forget the stiff-upper lip attitude! It is ok to celebrate your achievements but do it with a sense of humility.
12) Move on – success is limited to what you last achieved. Once a goal has been meet, start again with the next one.
.The more Social Leaders that we can create in key decision making positions, the more sustainable both business and society becomes!
Till the next time, J