A School For Tomorrow
THE PATHWAY TO EXCELLENCE | WORK | SOCIAL PURPOSE

SOCIAL IMPACT

We need to locate our vocation through our social impact – how we set and achieve goals that will bring benefit to the lives of others in accordance with our sense of social purpose.

What do we bring to our world? Each of us is unique.  Each of us has a purpose and value that underlines everything we do. Each of us of has the potential to add to the character of our community. Working to create positive social impact is about accepting that all of these statements can and should apply to us. And we need to accept the responsibility that flows from this, as well as the capacity to bring benefit to the lives of others in accordance with our sense of social purpose. Understanding how our social impact aligns with our character and competencies is the first step towards fulfilling this responsibility.

We each have a unique arsenal of talents, knowledge, and skills that can be utilised towards our social impact. The things we have learned through experience, formal education, and informal education can be used to help others understand their path. Our interests and natural inclinations can also be used to help others to navigate their situations. Our impact, therefore, arises from our belief in the importance of helping others, understanding what we can do, and how the two intersect.

So how then can we begin to put our dedication to social impact into action? We need to start in a small way. It is often said that charity begins at home. We are more likely to generate positive good will and tangible outcomes for others in immediate and existing connections. This begins with our family and friends. How might we spend our time improving their lives either by removing the burden that we may be placing upon them or by relieving them of another burden? Do we do our fair share of chores at home? Do we spend as much time, if not more time, working on our friends' problems as they spend working on our own? Are there projects that our friends and family are committed to that we might give more of our time? Could we learn competencies of leadership that would help us to take on further responsibilities in our immediate network?
"In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. That means we have 1,440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact."
Les Brown
Social impact, of course, does not end here. We can and should, in due course, extend the boundaries of our influence and the extent of our impact. It is important, however, that we practice at home what we might seek to take to the world. We can start to have this more global impact if we take on wider contribution from the ground up. What is it that we can do now that might be of the greatest help to those that need it? What basic services could we contribute? There is no shortage of opportunity to do good things in the world. It is, however, unlikely and perhaps even unseemly to imagine that we can rise to a position of prominence without putting in many, many hours of quiet, unglamorous, and dedicated service to others. If we want to change the world we have a lot to learn from mowing lawns, reading to children, and volunteering our time with the elderly.

Being conscious of our impact is also important. We need to be able to find motivation in seeing the tangible change that our social impact creates. We need to feel as though we are making a difference, even if it's on a very small scale. In addition, we need to model for others the willingness to serve and the determination that what we do will result in better outcomes for at least one other person in a way that does not serve our own interests first. We need to attract to our cause other like-minded people to build genuine communities of inquiry and practice. When we have others around us, we can do more through the relationships we build than we could by ourselves. It does become more complicated but it should be more rewarding and more fun. Above all, we need to remember that social impact means impact. Intent alone is not enough, and neither is sociability.

We can contemplate our Social Impact by considering the following questions:
    • Does my work and leadership motivate others to tackle challenges and come up with sound decisions and innovative solutions?
    • Does my career benefit those with whom I work and also the wider community?
    • Does my personal sense of purpose supports the mission of the organisations with which I am associated?
    • Do I put my talents, knowledge and skills at the service of others?
    • Does my work and career advance diversity and inclusion in my organisation and community?

RELATED READINGS

SOCIAL PURPOSE

personal branding

purpose, place, people, practice

social recognition

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR PROGRAMS

FOR STUDENTS

FOR STAFF

FOR LEADERS

FOR SCHOOLS