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?