Who Is Involved in Your Giving: Building A Team That Helps You Grow and Learn

Uncategorized May 04, 2022
 

Build Your Team to Complement Your Own Level of Passion, Proximity, and Perspective

A great team is greater than the sum of its parts.  If you've decided to get help as you gear up your giving this post will help you look more deeply at what it takes to put together a winning team.  How well does that team complement your strengths?  How well does it help you learn and grow in areas where you have are not as strong? 

 

Know Yourself: The Foundation for Building Your Team

If you are strongly drawn to focus your giving on our toughest challenges it's important to recognize that it takes certain personal qualities to engage effectively in complex systems change.  You don't need to possess all these in equal measure yourself, but if you want to maximize your impact you do need to make sure that you build a team that brings all these characteristics to bear:

  1. Sustained passion for social contribution 
  2. Practical proximity to the issue at hand
  3. Elevated psychological perspective

Determining where you are regarding these three qualities is an important first step. This informs who will best complement you as you build out your team.

 

There are three questions you can ask yourself to figure out where you come out: 

1. Do you expect to have sustained passion for solving complex social challenges in a given arena? Is your commitment to the issue you’re focused on high and durable?

Yes or No?

For example, how well do these prompts describe you?

  • I stick with my interests for a long period of time.
  • I know this issue well and have been working on it for years already.
  • I handle frustration and setbacks by staying committed.

2. Do you have practical proximity to the issue you’ve chosen to focus on, such that your pattern recognition and predictive power about the system’s dynamics gives you a reliable understanding about what to do to maximize impact as circumstances shift over time?

Yes or No?

For example, how well do these prompts describe you?

  • I’ve been personally impacted by this issue in a significant way—I know why it’s a problem in personal terms.
  • I have family members and/or friends who are currently impacted by this issue.
  • I’ve been involved in day-to-day operations for an organization that works on addressing the root causes of this issue.

3. Do you have a highly developed level of awareness and care for yourself as well as others?

Yes or No? 

For example, how well do these prompts describe you?

  • I am generally aware of my typical patterns of thought, feelings, and actions and how they impact my state of mind in any given moment.
  • I have well developed routines of self-care that I practice on a daily basis.
  • I have a clear understanding of what makes me feel the most meaning and fulfillment, and I have oriented my life to move towards those things.
  • Friends, colleagues, and family find me approachable and are comfortable being vulnerable with me.

 

The Upshot: Fill in the Gaps With a Team That Helps You Grow and Learn 

  • If you don’t already have a highly developed level of awareness and care for yourself and others, you should consider working with a coach to help you become your best self and find fulfillment in your giving. 
  • If you don’t have practical proximity to the issues you want to focus on, you must get that by proxy through a trusted advisor who proposes strategy and investments or a delegated decision-maker who makes these decisions on your behalf. 
  • If you don’t have a sustained passion for complex social challenges, you should delegate decision-making to someone who does and who also brings practical proximity. 

 

Charting it Out: Matching Yourself with Your Team

When you combine these three factors together, you get the following guide to building your team:

 

You Have: Sustained Passion for Systems Change

You Have: Practical Proximity to the System You’re Trying to Change 

You Have: Highly Developed  Awareness & Care for Yourself and Others

What You Need in Your Team

Yes

Yes

Yes

DIY (with hired help or faithful steward as desired)

Yes

Yes

No

DIY with trusted advisor as coach (and hired help or faithful steward as desired)

Yes

No

No

Trusted advisor with practical proximity + coaching

Yes

No

Yes

Trusted advisor with practical proximity

No

No

No

Delegated decision maker in collaboration with trusted advisor as coach

No

No

Yes

Delegated decision maker

No

Yes

No

Delegated decision maker in collaboration with trusted advisor as coach

No

Yes

Yes

Delegated decision maker (or trusted advisor if you prefer to be a bit more actively engaged)

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These are the same materials we use with the social entrepreneurs in our accelerator program and the funders we coach one on one.  The world has never been more in need of a new, greatest generation of change agents and that's why we're opening up free access to these materials to anyone who's ready to make use of them!