This week our leadership coaches had conversations with social enterprises and charities from all over the world. From Mexico to Estonia, from China, Tanzania, Papua New Guinea, Lebanon to South Africa. For us, it was a deeply moving experience.
We were speaking with people at the frontline of enormous social and environmental challenges – saving primary rainforest, helping people re-integrate into society after prison, educating the poor, fighting for womenʼs rights, giving indigenous communities a voice, protecting rivers, bringing under-privileged children into the mountains.
The people we spoke to were full of energy and ambition; passion and joy; full of purpose and meaning in their lives. With an echo of Nietscheʼs words – he who has a why to live for can bear almost any how. We heard about successes against all the odds; about impact beyond the imaginable – one individual is now working with 26,000 schools; about young people, abandoned, finding self determination and personal leadership; there is so much hope, it cannot fail to inspire, draw admiration and respect.
However, when you know what some of these people are up against you wonder how these leaders sustain their efforts.
A job advertisement might read something like this:
Not much pay, if at all; long hours likely; cause comes before self; conditions stressful and under resourced; job description requires flexibility; responsibilities include fundraising, constantly, motivating staff, managing donors, delivering programs and demonstrating impact & measure. Good health required; few benefits, training or professional support. Core costs to be kept to a minimum. Applicants need years of experience.
The task is monumental but millions of people will not be deterred. Every day, people around the world are getting out of bed to make a difference and we are thrilled to throw the whole weight of our coaching organization behind them. It is clear that these care-takers also need to be taken care of.
One leaders said “we are so passionate about what we do that we will die before we get there”. Our promise to you – you are no longer alone; no matter how, we will find a way of supporting you.