I often partner with Stop Hunger Now by coordinating meal packaging with my corporate clients. The goal is to combine the event with training topics such as leadership, communication, teamwork, and/or continuous improvement. My experience is that this type of training is transformational for any workplace or company. The shared experience provides a purposeful environment that reaches people like no normal “teamwork” training can. During these sessions I often share a story about my daughter, Sydney, that has come to be known as Sydney’s Tater Tot Story. What do a chance lunchroom encounter, a handful of tossed tater tots, Stop Hunger Now, and you have in common? Watch to find out:
When we step out to do something noble, something we are passionate about, something like ending world hunger, we are going to meet resistance. The resistance may not always be a tater-tot throwing bully. It might be a lack of resources, people with competing agendas, and urgent issues that demand our attention. The decision we have to make is the same in all of these situations. Are we going to persevere? When the whirlwind of work and daily life take over, are we going to keep going? There are three critical questions that by answering allow us to press reset and continue moving ahead. While these are basic questions and answers, it’s worth revisiting them from time to time. I encourage you to create a mental playlist with the answers to these three questions so you can keep moving in the face of resistance.
1. What are we doing?
A simple vision statement is the North Star of any organization. It can be as simple as Apple’s Steve Jobs saying, “we are going to create computers that are easy to use.” Whether it is the stated vision of a world without hunger or the actual mission of ending hunger in our lifetime by providing food and life-saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable, a simple sticky statement serves as a quick reminder and brings us all together. Ending hunger is what we are doing each time we like a Facebook post, Tweet a story, pack a meal, plan an event, train a new volunteer, or shrink wrap another pallet of boxed meals and load them onto a truck. We are all unified by what we are doing.
2. Why are we doing it?
The answer to this question is where we find inspiration. In his book, The Advantage, Patrick Lencioni says that this statement is how we will make the world a better place. This answer reveals the heart and soul of the organization. Imagine for a moment what would the world look like if Stop Hunger Now went away? Not a pleasant thought is it? People would starve. This is why we don’t quit. This answer should give us the emotional juice to continue on in spite of resistance.
3. Where do you fit in?
What is my critical role? My unique contribution? Of course we have to take on many tasks from time to time but chances are you have something very specific and unique about your role. We are at our best when we do what we do best and our organization is at its best when we are doing what we do best. Reminding yourself of where you fit in helps to re-center you around your core competencies and how they are connected to the organization.
The answers to the first two questions will sound a lot alike for most of us. This last question is specific to the part we play and will be quite different for each of us. How do I leverage my unique gifts and fit into Stop Hunger Now? Where can I use my talents to champion for those less fortunate? There are many ways to connect and fit in. I like to think of these as “I am,” statements because they reflect you and your fit. Items such as:
- I am coordinating events.
- I am sending out donation letters.
- I am serving on the board.
- I am combining training with meal packaging.
The key is YOU have to see how YOU fit and are contributing to the mission. The best part is there is a place for everyone. Take some time and answer the questions and let’s all work together to end world hunger.