Social entrepreneurs who are juggling planet, people, and profits can maximize the impact of their organization through leadership development.
Like an optimistic virus, the passion for doing good and creating positive transformational change is spreading. We see evidence everywhere of a global shift toward greater awareness and compassion, including in the business world. When Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield mixed their deliciously unique Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors with social activism in 1978, customers considered this a novelty. How far we’ve come! Today’s consumers are actually demanding more socially conscious choices. We want to know that our coffee is free trade. We want to know that the packaging we purchase doesn’t harm the environment. Most of all, we want to feel that the products and services we buy don’t have a negative effect on the world, but make it a better place.
A business with a social mission can include not-for-profit businesses intent on solving a social cause, such as SoapHope.com, Khan Academy, or Paul Newman’s Own. Other businesses with a social mission are conscious capitalists, such as Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Starbucks, or Whole Foods.
When all is said and done, if you want to make money but also leave the world a better place, there’s more opportunity than ever before. However, the same focus on profit margins must apply for the social business to be successful—but with an entirely new set of conscious rules, such as “do no harm,” or “minimize carbon footprint,” or “provide a happy working environment.” Yet these goals present unique challenges to social entrepreneurs. Current capitalism models, traditional number crunching, and—heck—even a Harvard MBA—won’t properly prepare the social entrepreneur.
I was pondering this very question when I came across an article on The Huffington Post by Geri Stengel. The article, titled “7 Must-Haves for Nonprofits Planning to Scale,” discusses seven different types of support needed for organizations interested in efficiently and effectively addressing social problems.
Was I surprised to see that leadership development was #2 on the list? Not at all. If leadership training is important when an entrepreneur is starting out, its doubly important to social entrepreneurs trying to boost awareness and compassion while also staying within profit margins.
The article interviews Richard Brown of American Express Philanthropy, who recommends coaching. He says that many of the nonprofit leaders he has sponsored report that the feedback they received from an executive coach was transformational.
I couldn’t agree more. Leadership Development helps the social entrepreneur leverage their passion, extract the congruent decisions from that deep well of commitment, and align their critical business decisions and actions with their higher principles.
If you’re a social entrepreneur juggling a variety of bottom lines—planet, people, and profits—maximize your impact with the help of an executive coach. TurnKey Coaching & Development Solutions understands the challenges faced by social entrepreneurs, and we are here to help you meet your goals. Let us help you make the world a better place. Call us today at 281-469-4244.