I attended an international symposium on CSR recently and this is an anecdote I would like to share, because it resonated with quite a few people who attended. At one point, half way through the event, one of the participants I just met asked me a question, which clearly had troubled his mind for some time already.
"CSR sounds very idealistic to me", he said, "but I always ask the same question: 'What's in it for me?'"
I noticed some nodding heads in the immediate vicinity. "Hmm...", I responded, "I see that this is clearly a prevalent question for you. Actually I hear this quite often, and I always respond with another question: 'What do you want?'"
With glaring eyes, his vision scattered a distant horizon. It was clear to me that he hadn't given that question much thought yet. Other bystanders gasped to hear what he was going to say next but were left wanting.
"So the question is ...", I continued, "what kind of world do you want, for yourself and your legacy, in the near and distant future? What kind of economy do you want? What kind of culture do you want? And most of all..."
"Who do you want to be? Would you like to be lagging behind, always reacting to everything that overcomes you? Or do you want to be ahead, creating a world for you? Do you want to be the leader or the laggard?"
"The leader", he reacted quickly, now that this word struck something particular in his mind, "Of course I want to be the leader".
"Then, you'd better act responsibly towards your business, your people, your stakeholders and your world. And that's how being responsible makes you a leader. That's what's in it for you!"
Als trainer en coach krijg ik regelmatig vragen. Via deze blog deel ik de inzichten die hieruit voortvloeien.