Like many of you, I have a busy life juggling lots of different elements of my life. Being busy doesn’t mean that what I am doing matters or more importantly is having a positive impact. So how does one stay connected to why they are doing? In my recent experience of facilitating a leadership programme in Kenya I became clear about two elements that for me help me do this. Doing something voluntarily and linking it to something big….a real global challenge of humanity .
One of the ways that I have found I can feel confident that I am doing something that matters is by being a volunteer faculty member of WYSE International – www.wyse-ngo.org. I had wanted to give back and do something voluntarily for some time but I wasn’t sure how I could use my leadership facilitation skills to do this. I became part of WYSE in 2012 and have been involved in delivering their international 12 day leadership programme every year since then. I started by doing this once a year in Italy, then increased this to twice a year and now also go to Brazil. Then last year, as part of their strategic plan to have a wider impact and allow more people access from around the world, WYSE decided to expand and run 4 programmes. Being half Kenyan, I volunteered to take the programme to Africa for the first time.
I have just come back from the programme, which due to the incredible support and effort made by the WYSE global community, was a great success. I always learn many lessons when I take part in the WYSE programme, this time there were two that stood out for me.
One was the power and importance of reconnecting with my ‘home’ being back in Kenya where I lived until I was 20 was more meaningful to me than I had anticipated. I was awoken in a way that is hard to describe as it wasn’t intellectual. Being in Africa and being able to influence in a small way how leadership is shaped felt very important to me.
Secondly, was connecting with the UN sustainable development goals, which until recently, I felt were important but too big or too far away from me. As part of the curriculum we ask the participants to connect with the goals, to become familiar with them and to identify which ones they would like to contribute to. These goals are what matters to humanity and therefore each of us. Considering how does what we do, serve to address any of these goals, is in my mind a useful way to answer the question “how does what I do connect to what really matters”?
Have a look at the goals and see if you can link what you do to any of them, it doesn’t only have to be through your work, it could be through the way you choose to live your life. For example one of the participants said protecting the environment was important for her, so she has found many ways to recycle everything she uses with her friends and community.
Here is a link to the goals, see which one you are curious about.