Philanthropy in Business and Leadership

Leader Motivation

Why do people choose to be leaders?  Is it because they want to be the center of attention?  Is it that they love having people criticize all of their decisions? Could it be that they have a driving passion for the field that they are in and an equal passion for philanthropy?  The on-line dictionary, dictionary.com, defines philanthropy as:

“Altruistic concern for human welfare and advancement, usually manifested by donations of money, property, or work to needy persons, by endowment of institutions of learning and hospitals, and by generosity to other socially useful purposes.”

If you study successful leaders, you will find that many started with a desire to advance the human race.  For instance, both Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk have a passion for mankind to colonize Mars.  The success of their businesses are making it possible for the two of them to start their own commercial space programs.  Others have life experiences which touch them deeply and drive them to make a difference in people’s lives.

Blake Mycoskie started a shoe company in order to be able to provide shoes to people who didn’t have shoes.  His motivation was to develop a business model that would give his customers an opportunity to provide shoes for the shoeless.  The model was a success as more and more people bought “TOMS” shoes because they could be involved in giving and helping other human beings through buying the product Blake’s company produced.  Admittedly, the shoes are not the most beautiful shoes on the market; however, they are functional and comfortable.  They provide the public a way to help people in other countries that do not have shoes by simply buying a pair for yourself and/or your family members.

Philanthropy is a leadership trait that influences others to follow and support companies and leaders of those companies.  Many companies give a percentage of their profits to local food banks, educational programs, the special olympics, the Red Cross, and many other charities and programs.  If you have a desire to become a leader, perhaps you should start thinking of the way that you would like to solve issues that face many of the world’s inhabitants and build a business model that will fund a solution for the issue that touches your heart the most.  Become a servant leader and have compassion for people that have fewer opportunities than yourself.  Build a business that leaves a legacy that will touch many lives long after you are gone. 

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