3 Qualities of Social Entrepreneurs You Probably Already Possess | Tech Blog
The best social entrepreneurs have a service stance, a transformative goal and killer problem solving skills.
BY Karen Tiber Leland – 29 Jun 2018
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
As I find myself firmly entering my fifth decade. I have begun to wonder (both to myself and out loud to friends and colleagues) what the last third of my life will look like — contribution wise. Certain questions have been rolling around in my entrepreneurial brain including:
- What is the difference I want to make in the next 35-40 years?
- What do I still need to contribute, to feel like I have achieved my purpose?
- What are the issues I care the most about impacting in this next part of my life?
Enter Kunal Sood, founder and fhairman of Novus, a platform that showcases work being done out in the world in the arenas of science, innovation and technology to address the world’s most pressing challenges.
I recently interviewed Sood on my Thought Talk podcast and of the many things I’ve learned from Sood, one is the profound value of integrating a social entrepreneurship bent into my business. “Social entrepreneurs are modern-day exponential leaders,” says Kunal. “They create an inspiring vision and form an effective team to bring new ideas to the table and solve our most pressing and urgent global challenges.”
Heady stuff, but Sood says that being a social entrepreneur doesn’t require a grand gesture, but rather the necessary character and ability to succeed at the goals set, excellent creative problem-solving skills and the grit and perseverance to see your ideas come to fruition –all with the intent to positively impact the lives of those the social entrepreneur commits to serve.
The more I’ve immersed myself in the role of social entrepreneurship as a path to business and personal success and satisfaction, the more I’ve come to agree with Sood’s three attributes he says distinguish social entrepreneurs from others. Specifically:
You live a life of service.
“Social entrepreneurs are often deeply committed to a vision that is greater than themselves,” says Kunal. This quality really resonated with me, as many of the CEOs, small business owners and highly successful entrepreneurs I work with as a branding and marketing strategist are focused on creating a better future for their clients, employees, communities and often the world at large.
Their vehicles for doing so range from profit-making enterprises that grow rice to housing the elderly, but what they all share is a commitment to making a difference with their companies –not simply making money.
Social entrepreneurship inquiry: What is your vision for what you and/or your business can contribute to the large picture of your company, community, country, etc.? How can you be of service?
You are driven by a massive transformative purpose.
“This purpose is the force that guides all of their work,” says Kunal. “They are focused on innovating to develop best practices and have incredible insight and deep mastery of their chosen field.” In short, social entrepreneurs go above and beyond the call of duty, and even the commitment to providing service, to cause a marked change in something they consider of great importance.
Social entrepreneurship inquiry: If you were to articulate a transformative purpose for your business, what would it be?
You adopt a strengths-based approach to solving problems.
According to Sood, social entrepreneurs are good at adapting even in the most arduous conditions.
“By harnessing both their individual and collective strengths as a team, they go beyond traditional methods to solve problems — be it increasing access to education for girls or taking urgent action to combat climate change,” says Kunal.
In fact, my experience with social entrepreneurs is that they are, above and beyond anything else, glass-half-full types who use creative problem solving on a daily basis to make their visions for transformation and contribution beyond their own success a reality.
Social entrepreneurship inquiry: In what way does your approach to problem solving empower your vision for transformation? How can you expand that to others in a way that empowers them to do the same?
In thinking through these inquires for myself, I’ve begun to plan out how I’m going to crank up my social entrepreneurship quota over this next part of my life. It’s already clear to me, I’m going to need some help. I for one am glad I have someone like Kunal Sood around to light the way.