I started writing this piece at 7:30 this morning... and then my computer crashed... So I am trying again. Such is the life of a technology-based society.
Each morning I start my day by reading other people's blogs and connecting with people on Twitter. If you want to follow me I am @DexterityCon. This morning @NicheTitans started following me. In response, I checked out their website. One of their recent blog posts was entitled, "How to Succeed in Life: 12 Reasons Why People Fail and are Less Successful in Life." This posting struck me as something that I wanted to respond to, first of all because it was written in the negative, but also because there are things that we can learn from this list that can be applied to effective social capital generation and philanthropy.
In turning this around, here is how I would apply these 12 Reasons to Generating Social Capital successfully.
- What Does Wealth Mean to You? - Defining what your wealth is goes beyond the monetary. What value do your personal connections hold? How do you define wealth beyond the financial? By defining this, you are beginning your journey down the road to achieving your social vision. It is your social vision that will be the end point for how you direct your social capital.
- Set Your Goals - What is your vision for society? Is it the eradication of homelessness in your community? Is it the creation of a society that has respect for arts and culture? Define your vision so you have a solid goal that you can direct your energies.
- Impossible vs. Improbable -Many things are impossible, few things are improbable. If your goal is the eradication of extreme poverty in your lifetime there are some distinct steps that need to take place to achieve that goal. It is not out of the realm of probability, especially because so many people are working towards a similar objective. Things are only impossible if we do not have a possible solution for them.
- Believe in Yourself
- Just Do It - Nike's slogan says it all. It is your vision, so you have to act on it.
- Create a Realistic Plan - You have your vision identified, you have made it a priority now is the time to put the ideas into action. A strategic plan that generates social capital is one that keeps your social vision at the forefront and engages others in the journey. Your plan should outline who else needs to be involved (human and intellectual capital), how much needs to be invested (financial, emotional and time) and which businesses, organizations and community partners should be included.
- Follow-Through - A plan is only as good as the person who is executing it. This is your social vision and your plan, so you have to make sure that you are following through on your actions.
- Engaging Others - Social Capital is all about engaging others. You generate financial, personal and emotional gain by sharing your vision with others. You will also see greater successes by integrating other people's and organization's visions with your own.
- Don't Quit
- The Business of Philanthropy - There have been several blog posts, both on this site and others about the business of philanthropy. The charitable sector is a multi-billion dollar industry in North America and it is growing. Any transaction that you enter with community partners has a value. Be clear from the beginning what that value is (monetary, time or intellectual). Treat the relationship like any other business transaction. Your social vision is just as important (if not more so) as your business mandate.
- The Energy from Others - We, as animals, give and receive positive and negative energy when we encounter each other and ideas. Be open to hearing what others have to say, encourage dialogue, learn and integrate those learnings into your social vision plan.
- Ask the Tough Questions - Don't be afraid to seek guidance from others. This website has several resources for you to make informed decisions around your community investments, your social vision partners and communicating those ideas with your employees and family.
Good luck and have fun!