It’s official. The elephant is in the room we call the Oval Office. The political ground is shaking under our feet, as many countries shift to the far right. And the earth is now a more dangerous place.
Ugly rhetoric dominates issues relating to gender, immigration and religious freedom, with draconian legislation in its wake. And that’s the easy stuff. Our democracy may be gutted. There’s a battle ahead, and it’s not entirely political.
Business belongs in the fight.
Ingenuity, disruptive innovation, entrepreneurship, systems thinking, and a true vocation to be of service have their place alongside demonstrations and marches. If you believe that your innovation or disruption or culture is creating positive change in the world, you’re among friends. We the people demand that you become a raging success.
It’s time to be ruthlessly noble.
Don’t let anything or anyone stand in your way. Be ambitiously idealistic. Because our people and planet need you to succeed. You can make your company a force for good by taking one small step for mankind. Change one of your hiring guidelines. Give purpose a place on your balance sheet. Refocus your brand on what matters. Be present to how your employees feel about coming to work. Small changes lead to solid impacts.
I’m always wrestling with how to talk about lofty goals in business: Is it purpose-driven? Working for the greater good? Mindful organizations? Mission-driven? So I went in search of language on Twitter. And you know, the people who responded really thought about it. Here are some highlights, including a rather tame comment from a Trump voter.
@EULesvos Force for good = #Socent; Passion, determination, resilience, driven by purpose; authentic.
@noreenfarooqui Starting with small acts of kindness.
@MarkBrinker To me, that means doing the right thing even though it might not always be popular. It also means being truthful and honest when it might seem everyone (and everything) around you is projecting half-truths and distorting reality. Lead by example. Treat everyone and everything (people, animals and nature) with kindness. That’s my $0.02.
@BlackBaud: It means helping all those who do good do more of it, faster – so that we can power an ecosystem of good that builds a better world.
@MomBeforeStorm: A force for good. Perhaps in our little everyday interactions. I am a teacher, so I know how far a good attitude and smile can brighten a student’s day without you even knowing.
@brandtastic Voting Trump is the best thing we’ve done as businesses. Every client and every business person I know with very few exceptions supported Trump for good reasons and I think we can look forward to good results. How’s that!
@caseydemchak: Casey Demchak – To me it means doing what we can to help others realize the tremendous power they have to create their own destiny and manifest everything they want in life.
@brenstrong: I think being a force for good requires action (you must do something or indeed stop something), consideration (to determine what is good), compassion (to understand how what is good for you may not be good for all), and imagination (to see how the actions you take can improve things or prevent things getting worse).
@Sookio: OK, so being a force for good, to me means bringing people with you even while you’re speeding ahead. For tech companies it means thinking beyond their immediate setup and thinking how they can solve other people’s problems, not just their own. My heart sinks when I see these brilliant minds in Silicon Valley spending their time creating the perfect grilled cheese sandwich; where’s their drive to solve real problems in the world.
@geertjevanberlo: Being a force for good means doing whatever you can do within your reach, within your power, within your radius, to make this world a bit better. For famous actors it can be to use their fame for a good cause. Like what Mark Ruffalo did for the people at Standing Rock, the speech by Meryl Streep at the Golden Globes, or Leonardo di Caprio at the Oscars. For extremely rich people it can be the decision to protect a large area of the Amazon Rainforest with their money, for entrepreneurs it can be making products and leading a company in a way that respects humans and nature. And for unfamous people like me it can be choosing to sit next to someone in the bus who belongs to a group that is being discriminated, smiling at an old lady that passes by on the street, helping someone finding their way in the city, or other little acts of kindness.
If this language rings true, and you want to empower your purpose, let’s get connected. I’d love to know what you’re up to. I’m here to help because that’s my purpose.