In my last blog I wrote about why being grateful is good for you.
As an adult, contributing money annually to various organizations was just something that I did. Like many of us, supporting those in need was important to me. Worthy organization; feel good contributions; tax deductions; the thought process went something like that.
It wasn't until Hurricane Sandy, an event that hit close to home, that I began to think more carefully about what charitable giving meant. I kept coming back to how could I really make a difference in a way that produced measurable results for both me and the cause I was helping. Ultimately, it became critical to participate in a larger way than simply writing a check. Truthfully, there are many organizations that go begging for those checks. But for me, the physical participation became a key ingredient.
When I founded Boxer Advisors, I knew that “making a difference in our community” would be one of our core values. It was just too important for us to feel that connection and see the results.
Much like any other measurable ROI, participating in giving back and making a difference was something we could track. When Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of New York and New Jersey, Boxer Advisors and our teaming partners and clients all contributed to sending two stuffed truckloads of food, water and personal supplies to those affected. Not only did we collect, organize and help distribute the goods, but one of our clients drove one of the trucks north, while I drove the other.
As the leader of my organization, it’s imperative for me to set the standards and provide core values guidance for my team. There are organizations who collect toys for needy children and then get to watch their faces as they come together to delight in their unexpected goodies. Other organizations encourage participation in delivering Meals on Wheels. Whatever the form of participation, these leaders know that the entire organization benefits from personal involvement in our community.
Along with other key performance indicators (KPI's) in your organization, personal participation might be another one we all need to add. Strong organizational teams rally around tangible values and opportunities to make a difference. And strong leaders who require this of their team are ultimately the stronger for it.
Boxer Advisors is a full-service consulting, training and coaching firm with more than 50 professional consultants, facilitators, and coaches and carefully selected partners providing services to Federal agencies and Fortune 1000 companies since 1996.
photo credit: mjreed.com