We know not when we are going to ‘have a moment.’ An unexpected encounter. A surge in demand for our services. Being in the spotlight, facing an exponentially larger audience. The tailwind of a lifetime to push us towards a personal record.
If we are uncertain of where we stand and our desired destination, we will not adapt quickly enough to meet the moment. The forces will outrun us, and we will be swept by the current of the audiences’ intention.
However, if we state what we believe, remain authentic, then we are assured of developing connections built on trust and a shared vision. The moment of first contact starts with a sustainable foundation.
When an airline drags a passengers off a plane and bloodies them because it wants to put employees on a flight, humanity is lost. The hard work is recognizing the human element to every interaction. It takes empathy and curiosity to negotiate challenging moments. The easy work is enforcing policies. The work that matters is seeing each individual in the crowd. When we ask better questions, we get remarkable results. When we look at people as a way to manage the numbers we settle for the lowest common denominator. Be brave, state your vision. Show how humanity is being served. Sometimes is just means keeping your promise.
John Oliver’s, Last Week Tonight on HBO produced a piece on the Miss America Pageant and Miss America Foundation that could carry ramifications and opportunities for the social sector. His team investigated and revealed that the actual value of the scholarships awarded compared to the stated ‘provided’ value of the scholarships represent during the pageant’s telecast equate to an eye-opening difference. John stated the pageant “gives out way less than the 45 million dollars in scholarships (he claims less than $4-million) and yet two, whatever the number is one thing does still seem to be troubling true…because even their lowest number is more than any other woman-only scholarship we could find.” Instead shining the spotlight completely on the semantics and mathematical formulas employed by the Miss America Pageant and Miss America Foundation he challenged the audience to consider support woman-only scholarship organizations, such as:
Society of Woman Engineers Patsy Mink Foundation Rankin Foundation
I am not sure of the impact of this news story for the Miss America Pageant and Miss America Foundation. It does not appear to immediately enhance the public’s trust in the social sector. Perhaps the greatest opportunity for growth is that woman-only scholarship funds can use the conversation to share their purpose and offer a call to action. When others break loyalty and trust, there is an opportunity to re-enforce the relationship each of us fosters with our own tribes.