James Kerr: Social Footprint

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You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. Galatians 5:13

This is post #17 in a series of posts in a book I read on my Philippines trip and en route home. It contains leadership insights from the most victorious team in sports history (winning percentage = 86% as of the writing of the book): The All Blacks, The New Zealand National Rugby Union Team.

“Our social footprint is the impact our life has — or can have — on other lives. It begins with character — a deep respect for our deepest values — and it involves a committed enquiry into our life’s purpose. What do we hold most sacred? What’s our purpose here? What can we pass on, teach?…It is likely that the teams — whether companies or causes — that contribute a healthy social footprint will be those that survive and thrive over the coming decades. They’ll recruit better talent, engender more loyalty and profit from a virtuous circle of purchase and recommendation, and build a sustainable culture of contribution and success. From their value to society will come their value as a company.

James Kerr in Legacy: What the All Blacks Can Teach Us About The Business of Life (London: Constable, 2013) 178-179.

What’s your social footprint?

Most people think the question refers to their number of Facebook friends or their Twitter following. While, those are big and far reaching, social footprint is a bigger issue.

Kerr describes it as our character and committed enquiry (or ‘examen’ as it is described in the Ignatian world of Christian spiritual formation) linked to our life’s purpose.

In short, who are we and how does our current trajectory match that. Are we off track or on purpose? Those who are on purpose will flourish.

The ministry in Ecuador is going well this week with my colleagues, Nydia Garcia Schmidt and Ereny Monir. We know who we are and our service is generous because we are on purpose.

With 55 participants from 23 countries the impact of this consultation has the potential to reach an unthinkable social footprint. Make it so, Lord Jesus.