Community Involvement

 

Hi, everybody. I’m Mike Staver. This is Mondays with Mike, a weekly video series where I answer questions from people just like you. Here’s this week’s question.

“I work for a company that should be involved in the community, but my boss disagrees. Our competitors are very involved and it’s the right thing to do. How can I get involved and not be perceived as disrespectful?”

I think you answered your own question. You can get involved.

You can get involved in the community. You can get involved in philanthropy. You can invite a couple of people at work to join you in the, I don’t know, whatever it is you want to do, and you can start modeling that. What if you just invited a couple of your coworkers to go volunteer at the meal kitchen or at the homeless shelter, or at the puppy drive or at the humane society, or you got two or three of your colleagues to raise money for something in the community?

I assume that’s what you mean by community. What if you were the leader and didn’t ask your boss to lead it or make it a company-wide thing because here’s what happens, movements start because one or two people start doing it and then they invite other people to join, and then other people to join and then pretty soon it’s a thing. If your boss has half a brain, what your boss will do is say, “Wow, this is really helping.” Now. I will tell you that sometimes people do that. When they do that, it doesn’t have a good business purpose. They have a tendency to get lost in it. We don’t want that.

What we want is we want to create a space where we can really help the business as well as the community. If the pendulum goes too far, which in some companies, it does go too far, too involved in community efforts, too involved in philanthropy, too involved in other things to the detriment of the company, that’s a problem, but it sounds to me like your boss is against it and that’s not good.

Your com competitors are taking you to lunch. How can I get involved? Not be perceived as disrespectful. You do it yourself on your own time, not during business time. Invite some of your colleagues, see if it’s successful. If it is, maybe your boss will see that as a model. Hope that’s helpful.

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