Do You Need More Moral Fiber in Your Diet?
“Just try to be the best you can be; never cease trying to be the best you can be. That’s in your power.” ~ John Wooden
Traits like character, integrity, and moral fiber seem to fascinate us. People who possess these qualities are rare and those who do have them develop a certain mystique. Instead of drama, fits of rage and huge shakeups, their focus is simply on doing the next right thing. These attributes are both attractive and charismatic. I had the great privilege today of attending an all-day conference for people who work in the non-profit segment of our state economy. The do-gooders, the community builders, servant leaders, the folks who care about helping others. Almost two hundred men and women gathered to develop their leadership skills, learn the ins and outs of volunteer recruitment, social media, board development, event planning and of course, networking. I was struck by the collective goodness, sincerity and genuine desire to serve. It was a great day.
But never once had I stopped to consider the enormity and impact of the non-profit sector in our state economy. Here are a few facts from a 2016 report.
Economic Impact of the Nebraska Nonprofit Sector
- Employs 79,500 – almost 11% of the state’s workforce
- Generates more than $15 billion in annual revenues
- Holds assets of $44.6 billion
- Nebraska foundations annually give over $881 million
- Nebraskans give over $1.2 billion to charity each year, representing 3.67 percent of household income
We’re starving for ethical leaders in our families, communities, and businesses but today I met dozens of them! When I got home I dug in my archives to find something I wrote almost two years ago because the folks I met today truly do have moral fiber. Why are they compelled to help others? It’s certainly not a path to wealth or fame.
Maybe they have grasped the wisdom of becoming other-centric. When a person’s focus moves from self-absorption to finding ways to serve, something magic happens. Our problems get much smaller when we compare them to the needs of others and it feels really great to help someone. Feel-good brain chemicals like oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin flood our bloodstream and it makes us want to do it again. What’s more, research has proved the effect on our level of happiness when we do good for others is both real and long-lasting!
Moral fiber and servant leadership go hand in hand
This is what The Urban Dictionary has to say. “Moral fiber is the capacity to do what is right, no matter what the circumstance. When given the opportunity, a person with moral fiber does things to help the less fortunate.” I can’t think of a better definition than that. It’s a term that has fallen out of common usage and I think that tells us a lot.
Jesus and the earliest Christians embodied the philosophy of the leader as servant but it was as recently as the 1970’s that the modern model of servant leadership was launched by Robert K. Greenleaf in his famous essay The Servant as Leader. The unique characteristic of a servant leader is the genuine desire to put the needs of others first. In the process helping those served, the ultimate goal is to develop them into people who will in turn help others.
See life with new eyes by looking for ways you can serve! What a huge, exciting opportunity to be part of a process of building and developing people who have the heart to help others! We can all help in some way big or small and when we do, we always get more than we give.
Fall is around the corner, time for a fresh start!
This time of year always stirs feelings of crisp blank paper and freshly sharpened pencils. New experiences, new things to learn. Organizational meetings fill our calendars and the wheels of scheduled life begin to turn.
I’ve developed two programs to help kick-start a new quarter and re-energize folks for a strong finish in the remaining one third of the calendar year.
Know Your Why! Know Your How! Know Your Wow! is a fast paced, fun and content-rich program designed to demonstrate we all have unique and valuable things to contribute. When everyone brings their best every day, everybody wins.
Six Steps to a Renewed You is the ultimate “you are worth it” message for everyone who serves the needs of others. It covers the basic components of good physical, emotional and spiritual health. Packed with common sense tips that make it impossible to forget how vital and unselfish it is to take care of you!
Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Schedule early to get the best dates!