In an interview, this what the Israel president Shimon Peres said concerning leadership development “what you have to think of is the potential of a person, not his appearance. And if you can discover hidden potentials that can make a great difference in the organization, you must distinguish between loyalty and brilliance. Most leaders prefer loyalty over brilliance they are afraid they they are going to be undercut.
The views presented in the interview some years back remain so relevant a decade later. A question that runs in my mind as I write this article is “how many potential talents that have been buried under the grave of poverty “this question that if well answered will be the key to commencement of a process that will lead emancipation of masses from yolks of poverty.
How to answer the question is what may surprise many, let us first acknowledge that we are all different. Yes even my very own son will never be like me in terms of abilities, gifts and talents. Let us also accept that others have something they can do better than we can, let us finally know that we have a responsibility to tell others of what they can do better than us.
Down the memory lane I remember of one person who contributed to me being who I am. By the simple act of appreciating what she saw in me as a standard four kid in the village has never left my mind. Madam Alice, her soul rest in peace. Just by a simple act of appreciating others. Dale Carnegie says the only way to win friends and influence them is through appreciation. We are hungry of being appreciated it is human nature you cannot run away from the instinct. Appreciation plays a magic role in networking and by extension helping to grow a cohesive society. It is said that you will not solve a problem by focusing on the weakness of the people, but the strength.
You cannot be a social innovator if you are an anti-social, sometimes we are blinded by our social classes. We never want to interact with people who do not have investments like we do, we don’t want to interact with people who never attended schools that we went to, and we don’t interact with people we don’t live in the same vicinity. In short segregation is the only sure way of hindering social innovation.
For one to be a social innovator they should be able to share with all people despite where they live, work worship, or even where they attended to school. In the process of interacting, we get to learn of other people’s abilities, talents and gifts. If we see and communicate to others of what they are good at and help them to develop and nurture them within a short period we will have a world full of people who are self-reliant. We will have people whose self-esteem is so high that they will never be afraid to risk. Of course risk taking is an ingredient in entrepreneurial individuals
How can one get to the level of helping others if we are not thought? How can we rise above the tribal lines and interact with other people from all over the world? How can we develop a global culture? All this can be achieved by consistently teaching of the significance of mutual respect, respect for humanity, respect for other peoples rights, respect for others not because of what they have obtained, or where they were born but because they are different from ourselves and can do something better than we can.
Repetition is the mother of character, and a character persistently exploited finally develops into a culture. For us, social entrepreneurs to succeed in creating a social impact in the world we need to learn to respect others, we should learn to appreciate others, we should put the cloth of meekness help those who are experiencing hard times. This should not be construed that we have to drain our bank accounts to help everyone but we should not sit but do something. One can give expert opinion to solving a problem; another can mentor a young person in a certain field. If we get as many people doing this, it is just a matter of time before we see a social revolution, changing the world into a better place for humanity.
Many are going to say this is the work for NGOs, I have nothing against this organization, but over decade now they have been working in kibera slums in Kenya and many others areas in the world but people in those places are still as a poor as they were. Maybe, even poorer because the population has increased and resources have become scarce. I think it is time to consider our strategy on NGOs. We can’t deny the fact that some have really done a good job, but most have misused the funds donated by people who have given their hearts changing the world.
A chance is here for those few who like me, feel things that things should be done differently, that we need to start thinking of the youth bulge as an asset but not a liability. We need to open our minds to think globally but be able to execute ideas locally. We should be able to learn that we are all different and that everyone has a role to play in making a world a better place. We should learn that mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, mother Teresa, martin Luther king left a legacy not because they did things the same way others did but persisted in doing things the way they felt in their hearts.
Let us learn that we are not master of everything nor do we need to be for us to start helping others but let us do whatever we can and do it the best way. Let us take our time, acknowledge the fact that others exist, give them a chance to do what they can for them to feel they belong. Every time let us strive to find something to appreciate about others and this way we will be creating a battalion to fight against social injustice, poverty and diseases. May our minds be saturated with spirit of doing good to others as we take the mission of social innovation to the world