In my late 20s, I worked for a company whose IPO created a life-changing financial windfall for me. Yes, I’d worked very hard and very long hours to earn that result. But I also realized that there was a fair bit of random chance that put me in the right place at the right time to have the opportunity to do that work. What’s more, I had a whole lot of mentors. And those mentors selflessly invested in preparing me for when the opportunity arrived.
The realization ignited a passion in me. I wanted to help others get the special breaks that they need to live their best lives. It kicked off decades of volunteerism at Care For Friends’ programs that connect homeless folks with the resources they need to achieve a better life.
At Motus, my sales and marketing leadership team shares similar values. And we decided that each time we had meetings that brought a large group together, we wanted to do more. More than just go to dinner or a bar to celebrate our accomplishments. We wanted to find opportunities for group volunteerism that could make the world a better place. Not just a better place for us. But a better place for others that have not had the same lucky breaks that we’ve had.
The specific activities have varied, based on the specific passions of our team members. We’ve picked over a thousand pounds of collard greens to supply a Wisconsin food pantry with fresh produce. We’ve collected clothing and crayons to ensure that children from low-income schools are ready for preschool. We’ve collected and donated school supplies to teachers across many districts who otherwise would have had to purchase their own items to begin the school year. And that’s just naming a few.
One day, we sent nearly a hundred team members to two warehouses with clothing and household supplies that needed sorting. We finished that job in under 90 minutes. As a team member observed “It’s amazing what you can achieve in a small amount of time when we’re all focused on the same thing.”
As an executive, I go to work each day to point large groups of people in the same professional direction. And I love to see the results of that collective effort in the form of quotas achieved, revenue goals hit and investments made. But it’s also astonishing to see how these team members have been able to achieve in their “spare time.” Those achievements stretch beyond themselves, towards passions they hold deeply to change the world around them.
It’s not a huge corporate social responsibility program. It may not have the formal philanthropic structure that other companies have had embedded in their culture for years. But it’s a start. And I’m anxious to see how the seedling efforts will grow into something even bigger and more impactful as we nurture them together over time.