Get Better by Focusing on Others


What if I were to tell you that in order to be more efficient, you need to be more focused on service and giving to the needs of others? This might not seem to make a lot of sense, but in reality, it works. You can often trace the effectiveness of an organization alongside their willingness to focus on others.

Giving to others allow companies to take active interests in their communities, which can lead to a huge boost in an employee’s feeling about the organization, and we all know that an unhappy worker can sabotage an organization. According to a 2016 study on volunteering, workers were "twice as likely to rate their corporate culture as very positive" if their company focused on helping others.[1]

One of my favorite stories about service has to do with General William Booth, the founder of The Salvation Army. While the story changes some, it’s said that the Founder of The Salvation Army once sent a telegram to officers around the world to remind them of the focus of their work. His message contained only one word, "others." That single word summarized the foundation for the entire organization. General Booth knew that our focus should not be on ourselves only but on others.

Recently, I was able to spend a little time with a 130-year-old company that had decided to focus on the needs of others. Their workforce does monthly street feeding work, donates to the local food bank, collects coats for kids, and has raised thousands of dollars for charity. The culture created at this business has been adopted across the workplace, and their customers are noticing, with statements like, “you are creating a better product and its not costing me more.”

Getting our work done is paramount in the emergency management field but focusing on others can help raise the effectiveness and efficiency of our work. If an organization or business can to trace its effectiveness alongside their willingness to focus on others, can’t we do the same?

[1] https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/citizenship-deloitte-volunteer-impact-research.html

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