Many years ago, as a fellow of Leadership Philadelphia, I attended a seminar where an accomplished anthropologist spoke about the power and influence of networks. She asked the group of leaders, “what is the most valuable currency that will move a critical agenda forward in your company or organization?” Fellows, which included CEOs, executive directors and other C-suite leaders, took their best guesses – money, power, position, influence – but none were correct. The greatest currency? Trust and respect, she shared. That is the currency that moves civilizations.
Posts for February, 2019
I am lucky to love what I do. For the last eight years I have had the privilege to watch and encourage the incredible growth of civic and social engagement in companies. Over this time, we’ve seen incredible growth – from only 24 percent of companies offering pro bono programs (CECP, Giving in Numbers, 2011) to 56 percent offering such skilled talent to communities today (CECP, 2018). From CEOs speaking out to Super Bowl ads focused on social action, companies are leading and lending talent and resources at an unprecedented scale.
That first spark of amazement in a child’s face is what drives Lori Morton’s volunteerism, day after day. “When a kid looks into a microscope for the first time, and sees an ant or a bumblebee at high magnification, and realizes there’s this other world complexity … being a part of that moment is wonderful,” said Lori. By day, the 47-year-old scientist from Chappaqua, New York, is vice president of research at a biotechnology company, but her free time is dedicated to providing STEM discovery for kids. Through many community-based organizations and projects, Lori is providing new opportunities for kids to have fun and engage in STEM activities, in addition to underscoring the importance of science with the leaders of tomorrow.
As the largest national day of service, MLK Day is valued as a day “on,” not a day off – an opportunity to reflect on the gains we have made, and re-commit ourselves to addressing contemporary issues facing our nation through meaningful civic dialogue and community volunteerism. Each year on the third Monday in January, millions around the country unite in service to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. And in communities around the country, Points of Light Network affiliates start the year off in the spirit of volunteerism and service, creating hundreds of opportunities for individuals, families, nonprofits and business to work together to build stronger, more resilient communities.