The impact of leadership is felt in every aspect of a company, from its culture down to its bottom line. When leaders live out their vision for social change, the influence can reach far beyond the company walls.
At our InTheBlack conference in LA this year, two inspiring women came together to speak about how to use power for good. Their message was unified in positivity and passion for what they do, and the difference we can all have in an increasingly uncertain world where individual contribution matters more than it ever has before.
These women are pioneers in their fields, and their insights have the power to inspire us all to discover how we can impact the world through our unique gifts.
Andrea Jung, President & CEO of Grameen Bank USA
Grameen America gives low income minority women the opportunity for financial inclusion by helping them build small businesses to create better lives for their families. When Andrea first joined the organization, her vision was to use her business experience and passion for women’s empowerment to create a movement in the United States. Grameen is now the fastest growing micro finance organization in the US, and has given $6 million dollars in loans to women.
Andrea has experienced first-hand that through entrepreneurship, our cities, our country, and our world heals and grows. Her goal is to continue to thoughtfully expand the Grameen movement by providing high tech with high touch, and equip more and more women with the microloans, training, and support they need for their businesses to succeed.
She views life in the three stages of learning, earning, and returning, and her goal is to weave the third through every aspect of her life by focusing on meaningful work. “I'm proud of what we do, but there's so much good to be done that we as individuals can lead. We can write a check. We can donate time.” But we can only do so much alone, and Andrea encourages us all to find like-minded individuals to collectively expand the good we can bring to the world.
Gloria Molina, Los Angeles County Supervisor
Gloria is the first Latina to be elected to the Los Angeles City Council and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, where she was reelected five times and recently termed out. She sees leadership as the key to positive change, and firmly believes that empowering women will create advocates for the next generation, opening the door for them to make a big impact on the world.
“I think a duty and a responsibility for many of us that have been in leadership positions is to continue to groom young leaders. The kind of leadership I'm talking about is leadership for social change. It is really understanding and respecting the power they have and I think it starts with women. I think it starts with moms.”
She is also adamant about the importance of ownership. Everyone needs to feel that they have a role and a responsibility in the solution, and instead of just looking to Washington, make one simple change. Instead of simply commenting on or criticizing what we see, ask the question, ‘What am I going to do about it?’ This can help us tap into the level of ownership that will build mountains of change and begin to create a different world.
What This Can Mean for You
These two women have found what makes them come alive, and they are making the world a much better place as a result. They are fortunate enough to have found this in their work, but are still dedicated to social change above and beyond their professional responsibilities.
Here is a quick recap of the lessons being lived out by each of these women:
- Find the right nexus of purpose and doing good that will empower you to stay positive
- Tap into the ownership you need to create social change
- Get serious about service, and do good where there is good to be done
- Find like-minded individuals to expand your impact
It’s time for each one of us to be passionate about making things better in our personal and work life, and expand that out into the world. It’s more essential than ever, and it is what makes life worth living.