It’s Those Little Bits of Good Put Together That Overwhelm the World – Desmond Tutu
A Case Study: Rory’s Story:
Rory worked at a charity shop. Several times over the years, the company had offered him the position of manager by way of recognising and rewarding his good work. They believed a management position would give him even greater power to do good. Rory had always politely declined. He was following his purpose to help people. He believed that in working behind the scenes, he was making a more meaningful contribution than he ever could in a position of power. Behind the scenes gave him a position of purpose that engaged and inspired him. A position of management and power didn’t.
Besides, as manager, he would be expected to hobnob with those of perceived higher status — the elite social circles of the town. That just wasn’t Rory’s bag. He was much happier working alongside the volunteers, who gave their time, skills and expertise generously. Rory didn’t manage the volunteers (well, not to his way of thinking anyway), but he did (perhaps, unknowingly to him) lead them. The manner in which he was engaged and inspired in his work had a ripple effect throughout the team, and his quiet and humble approach in doing good, caused others to want to do the same. This brought about much deeper and meaningful relationships than hobnobbing would ever have done.
Oisin and Ciara — two of the volunteers, had a background in retail fashion, and they helped Rory to dress the store in a way that was visually enticing in bringing people through the doors. Working together, the three of them discovered they loved fashion that empowered people and had a social cause. Listening to their conversations while helping them dress the store, Shauna, whose background was in recruitment, shared an idea she wanted to propose to her company but was holding back on because she didn’t feel she could deliver on it by herself.
Shauna’s idea was to help homeless people to prepare for interviews. Her proposal was going to be that she and her colleagues could help them prepare for the actual interview process. By first helping them to know how to present themselves in writing their CVs. Then having practice interview sessions with them to help them present their best self in answering questions. And finally, helping them prepare presentations if that was a requirement of the role. But Shauna felt there was a key missing link in the chain of her idea that was holding her back because she didn’t feel she could deliver on it by herself — that was to help people dress for success in how they presented themselves.
Rory, Oisin and Ciara sharing how they loved fashion that empowered people and had a social cause resonated with Shauna. She tentatively asked if they would be willing to work with her in empowering the homeless people she wanted to work with to present the best of themselves at interviews. She felt that would strengthen her presentation of her idea at her company.
The three agreed immediately. Shauna’s idea had engaged and inspired them.
With their support, her presentation had the same impact — it engaged and inspired everyone at her workplace, and it was immediately approved.
Words Of Wisdom
The story had started with Rory wanting to do a little bit of good where he was. Then Oisin, Ciara and Shauna joined in. And on Shauna sharing her idea, the ripple effect of those little bits of good put together spread through her company, overwhelming (in a good way) in their part of the world, or rather their community.
Three Steps To Do Your Little Bit Of Good Where You Are Assignment
Step 1: Think about what engages and inspires you.
Step 2: Think about how you can use that to do a little bit of good where you are.
Step 3: Do it.
You can do it alone. Or you can join forces. Or you can do both. Whatever you do, know that all those individual or combined little bits of good put together overwhelm (in a good way) the world — your part of it — your community.
As a WorkLife Learning Practitioner and Writer, I create learning programmes and resources to help people manage, develop and transition their WorkLives in good, challenging and bad times.
The focus of my work begins by helping people identify a WorkLife path that’s true to their core values, purpose, and motivation. This is followed through by creating meaningful short and long-term WorkLife plans while enabling self-coaching, self-directing, and self-leadership to drive these plans.
I bring you stories created from questions and answers drawn from WorkLife lessons. What I’m trying to do is to highlight different solutions, to provide you with a pathway so that even if a particular story doesn’t apply to you, you understand there is a path to follow.
Whatever you want to do, there is a clear path to it, and once you understand those steps, it becomes much more intuitive, and hopefully, it motivates you to get started. Because that’s what you need most, the motivation to get started. The motivation to follow your vision.
My book, Your WorkLife Your Way, focuses on helping you live your best WorkLife by managing your learning, development and growth, through effective self-feedback, insightful questions and the ability to shape and tell your unique story. Click on the title to see a preview of what’s inside the book.