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Got One Exemplary Goal as an Entrepreneur? Take Everyone Along! As an individual, never give up on people, believe in the immense potential of every individual and that we should all work together towards both individual and organisational growth

By Manu Gupta

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In any enterprise, having a goal is the first step, which cannot be reached without a team of professionals working towards the same goal. It is not easy to be able to encourage skill sets from different walks of life to work in the same direction.

A goal is based on a purpose and the conviction of an organisation's founders. It represents an accumulated wisdom and a hope for the future. To grow as an organisation, as diverse and a greater number of people join, it becomes important that the founders continue to strongly own the goal, yet be broadminded to take others along and even nurture them to embrace it.

So how does one lead and encourage a team of versatile individuals to respect, commit and work towards a common goal? Here are SIX points to remember as a leader:

  1. Respect and encourage: It is important that every individual is respected and encouraged to relate to the common goal of an organisation in their unique way. Individual experiences and exposures count, adding value to an organisation. When given the space, empowered individuals will come up with the most creative approaches on how the goal can be achieved.

  2. Relate the goal to larger good: Relate the goal with deeper values that are inherent in everyone – empathy, happiness, and well-being. When you communicate your goal, refer to larger societal good. Goals ideally point in the same direction. On the other hand, if a goal that does not relate to larger good - it is no good anyway.

  3. Your goal is not your sole property: It is crucial for the top leadership to realise that their objective once communicated to all should become a collective one and is not only theirs. Every individual in the organisation should be able to relate to it. A leader's role would therefore be to help every individual understand – how does the work he/she does relate to the vision of the organisation?

  4. Making external environment aware of your goals: When stakeholders external to the process talk about your goal, it reinforces confidence. You need to promote the goal well so that it reflects your idea about it. Enable others to negotiate with you on the basis of the goals that you have set.

  5. Ensure relevance of your goals with changing scenarios: Your goal should be relevant today as much as it was relevant when it was formed. Times change and within changing contexts, new questions arise. With new people joining the group, the challenge of winning them over requires flexibility in the way you approach things.

  6. Future is now: Actions today should contribute to the long-term trajectory of the organisation. This reinforces faith and confidence in one's work and allows people to be optimistic about contributing to change.

Another important aspect of any enterprise is learning from failure and helping people learn from their failures. Speaking of my work spanning the last twenty five years, learning are based on the mistakes that we have made. And the strength of spirituality makes us emerge wiser and courageous with every failure. This has helped in staying committed and responsible for the humanitarian work that we do without compromising on people, principles and our goal.

In the last two decades, we have been challenged on our goal a number of times. The challenge has come many fronts, be it people on the organisation's Board or fresh graduates that join our team every week. The composition is most diverse, and considering the nature of work, previous experience is limited. Over the years, we have played the role of an enabler as we empower people to build themselves. We strongly believe that it is important to have people as a part of the solution.

About the organisation:

SEEDS (Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society) is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 1994 when two classmates decided to start from their college canteen. SEEDS has established itself as a post disaster rehabilitation and disaster risk reduction organisation that enables community resilience through practical solutions in the areas of disaster readiness, response and rehabilitation. We established a common goal for our organisation about 20 years ago, based on what we saw as the need on the ground, and a broad idea of what the future will be.

Manu Gupta

Co-founder of SEEDS

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