Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Rise of the #SocialEntrepreneur / #servantleadership #positivedisruption #edchat @potus

What value should schools place on setting the strong foundations of developing social entrepreneur/ servant leader-minded students?

To be dynamic and spirited, a clear purpose that is found relevant by students is important. What they have to say about the course should be valued and taken into consideration in order to keep the program open to being effective and efficient. A clear purpose valued as worthwhile by the team involves not just actual technical labor needed to co-accomplish a project with fellow peers, but emphasizes on a larger scale the abstract, soft skills (hard skills), such as grit, perseverance, honesty, integrity, teamwork, empathy and compassion necessary for individual and group work.

In developing social entrepreneurs, I believe it should be important to emphasize on the reason why a project is being undertaken. Social entrepreneurs are passionate about their work. They bring their unique traits to the table and see how to best address the needs of others first. Profits are placed in a lesser priority to the social entrepreneur. For this kind of dynamic to be fostered within a school environment, the school administrators and teachers themselves must become socially-entrepreneurial in going forth with the creation of such a program.

In the classroom, the students would replicate the teachers actions and would be working collaboratively in a project-based, clear start and clear finish project mode. This course could integrate from all the other academic courses by having the math, science, history, technology, art, music and engineering teachers all collaborate at a top-level to give the foundational support for the social entrepreneurship course.

All in all, social entrepreneurship is nothing less than an actual revolution which amplifies as a a wave of awareness over the hearts and minds of others. A robust social entrepreneur is in fact like a mini-President of a country having to orchestrate, manage, direct and collaborate with others in order to see their aims achieved. This is an initiative and goal-directed labor of love that moves when one moves and stops when one stops. Success then is about adhering focusing on improving our process and this brings in the notion of the growth mindset, which is that we place a greater spot light on having an effective and efficient process rather than achieving an end result by whatever means necessary.

The best kinds of social entrepreneurs are those who take on the mantle of leading by being a real service to others. In effect, by abasing themselves to listening to the needs of individuals and communities and acting in a unique way to address those needs this kind of leader activates as a community-minded power of one and force for good. The passionate social entrepreneur is clear on why they are doing something and is adept at different crafts, trades and professions knowing how to pull from each to integrate them into projects. This flexibleness to versatility makes the social entrepreneur dynamic, nimble and agile, leading to an amplification of their ability to be successful in their endeavors.

They see the big picture as well as the individual parts.

The agile and flexible servant leader entrepreneur is a constant listener just as a surfer is constantly looking for the next wave from the line-up. They take in information all the time, digest and like putting a puzzle together, look to see how to best advance their endeavors to serve the community. This is a mindset and a way of action. Starting subsequent generations at young ages to think along these lines will sow independent thinking and crop up youth and adults who are balanced leaders. The servant leader/ social entrepreneur thinks about how to make life better for others by disrupting established, yet ineffective systems and replacing it with more vibrant and altruistic modes.

How does one start? What does social entrepreneurship look like?

Begin by rolling up your sleeves. Think about what in the world you would like to make better. Think about what will get you passionate to do something about it. Start locally. For example, I work on things that interest me. One of my projects has been altering the culture at a skatepark by genuinely introducing the idea of helping others. It is called the Scalzi Originals Skateboarding Co. in Stamford, Connecticut. and it is a school for typical youth, as well as those on the autism spectrum, Downs syndrome, any special need, ADHD or mild executive function deficits. We do cognitive-physical workouts through skateboarding. Likewise, the school presence is impacting the family-friendly aspect that is entering the park more and more and new people are coming to the revitalized park.

Another project I am working is revitalizing the South Norwalk Community Center in Norwalk, Connecticut. I walked in one day to a darkened hall, found my way around a meandering path to an open room where a secretary informed me that there where no sports leagues, dance, art or music classes, there was no fitness room for parents and families and no chess program for the little ones. Nothing but a welfare check program to help low-income community members with their utility bills and an after-school computer room hour that recently begun as the one isolated youth program the center has begun offering at the self-described 'Latino Center.'

Currently, the campaign to create awareness of the gentrification process and take positive action to turn around the divisive plight of the ailing community center is in its fifth month. Continuous rounds of fresh Freedom of Information Act requests by myself are bringing to light money mishandling, family members 'on the take' and double-minded city hall redevelopment agencies which love to give heaps of money with no oversight.  A strong social media campaign, plus, city hall appearances by various concerned residents to bring sincere and genuine awareness of the the center and its role in Norwalk's city hall-led gentrification-minded mission envelopes the South Norwalk community threatening to yell, 'empowerment to the people' when in fact it is just paving the streets with money and private contracts. My goal is to facilitate a healthy, operating community center that brings together black, white and hispanics, making it not a 'Latino Center' as its present CEO likes to say or an African-American center as it was touted before, but a center for all.

With the soon-to-come toppling of the former administration, the new South Norwalk Community Center leadership is expected to begin to service the youth and their families directly. Already the year, Board member Rees Morales unexpectedly resigned and its executive director, Kelly Robertson was fired. Who is next? Forums to bring forth community solidarity within South Norwalk are aimed at voicing and discussing what kind of service they would like to begin seeing at the center. This includes having coach volunteers come forth.  Likewise, the need to take concrete action to foster financial transparency in view of the decades of administrative corruption at the South Norwalk Community Center is imperative. Online controls can be created and safeguarded within a new constitution for the center.

None of these endeavors on my desk are easy. They require patience, foresight and an ability to interrelate well with others. Collaborating, sharing, delegating and listening keep me moving and I continue on my missions because I am passionate about them.  Being clear on purpose and knowing oneself, what gets one going in the morning and what doesn't is vital. The passionate social entrepreneur attitude stems from their conviction to their purpose and makes one be #allin and with #allpistonsfiring. The mission drives and pulls one forward from the inside out when it's about making things better for others.

Twitter: @CoachBill007
Instagram: @CoachBill007

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