Make a Difference in Your Community

In many of the topics I cover in Lifecircle Leadership: How Exceptional People Make Everyday Extraordinary, I draw from my experience as President and CEO of Loretto. However, these themes are bigger than the workplace – in fact, similar gestures bear similar results to the community at large.

Today, community seems to solely be a geopolitical word. I get nostalgic for the “good old days” when community meant something more. (I know – now I’m aging myself.) What I’m referring to is a time when community didn’t solely mean a group of people that live and work in proximity to one another – but rather this group of people also actively shared the lives they lived. I think a glimpse back in time helps put this in perspective – after all, when you’re sharing in the lives of those who live and work close to you, don’t you want to help them succeed? I do.

My community is Syracuse, New York – currently one of the most impoverished cities in the United States. But it wasn’t always that way. General Electric and Carrier Corporation used to have a significant presence here, a university was established and thrived, ethnic enclaves were established, it was the capital center of the entire Upstate New York region. Moreover, a community was built around it – a community where people cared about one another.

Over time, poverty has replaced prosperity, and there’s a sense of abandonment in the same neighborhoods that once had a spirit of community. Poverty has led to healthcare issues, educational issues, crime and drugs. However, there are still many living among these hardships who continue to persevere with resilence despite facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles. What can we do to help them? To inspire them? To help bring back the true meaning of community?

Regardless of what community you live in, the question becomes, what are you doing as a leader in that community? Are you involved in efforts to make the lives of your fellow community members better? Are you taking the initiative to show people in your community you care?

The steps to making a difference in your community are quite simple:

  • Open your eyes and acknowledge everyone in your community.
  • Begin a dialogue.
  • Do what needs to be done.

Imagine if every single person reading this blog post would take action in their community. I encourage you to – the rewards will far and away justify your efforts. Trust me.