As originally seen on Forbes
“Fear is contagious, but so is leadership. It’s time to rise up.” -Dan Martell
The true leaders that will best remembered when this crisis is over, are those who put the needs of others first at great personal sacrifice, not the guy who took a U-haul and bought up 17,000 bottles of hand sanitizers to make a personal profit,* The health care workers, the first responders, the lab workers, these will be the true heroes when all is said and done. But everybody can do something.
Our inboxes are flooded right now with messages from businesses telling us all about them and how they are handling the current coronavirus crisis. Clear messaging is important in times of panic, but even more important is the message itself. In times of crisis we become tribal, and the most important message will be how you can help the tribe. Everybody is asking, “how can I help?”
What if you are just a normal company? What if you are a small business that doesn’t impact healthcare or elderly care, or anything tangential to this crisis? You can still find a way to give. That’s why I’ve worked with a group of like minded individuals to create the Coronavirus Generosity Challenge.** This is a call to action for businesses to discover ways to give and make a positive contribution in this tense environment. Re-direct the negative energy and fear of the current climate towards something positive.
Some great examples of this that have already emerged include: the software companies Zoom and Loom (no relation) offering their video conferencing and recording services free to all K-12 schools, not just for the duration of the crisis, but forever. Dallas Maverick owner Mark Cuban who will continue to pay hourly workers during the NBA shutdown. These are just a few examples of remarkable generosity that will be remembered. At my software company, Clearview Social, we are offering free access to our software for non-profits who serve at-risk populations or sectors related to this crisis. What can you or your company do to help?
To make this more clear, here are a few examples of the difference between generosity and a promotion. 20% off, that’s a promotion. Buy one, get one free, that’s also a promotion. Free access to your software for a year for first responders, that’s generosity. Free consulting or public relations work to non-profits in the healthcare sector- that’s generosity. If the action requires true sacrifice or true service, that is what generosity is all about.
Please share examples you see of individuals or companies embracing generosity using #generositychallenge on Twitter or LinkedIn. This is a time to show love and gratitude. It may be 8-12 weeks until life as we know it returns to normal, but in the meantime we have a unique opportunity to show that kindness and generosity are the most normal human reactions of all. If you’d like to join in helping to spread the word about the generosity challenge, email me here: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be writing about the best ideas here for the next few weeks.
As originally seen on Forbes