“Mediocrity is the enemy of greatness.”
Even on the dreariest of Monday’s I don’t know very many people who wake up and declare, ‘I want to have a mediocre day.’ However, we so often find ourselves lying down to sleep, realizing we have done just that: had a mediocre day. Never fear, this isn’t a 10-step article on how to go from good to great, there’s already too many of those in circulation. Rather, this is a proposal to embrace a different way of living: from strengths.
To live from one’s strengths is a universal concept that can apply to any community, individual, or philosophy. This is because when you are operating from your strengths, the perspective shifts from simply ‘What am I OK at?’ to ‘What do I do best?’ I’m guessing if we began operating out of the latter, we may find ourselves knocking out more New Year’s Resolutions than we ever thought possible.
At Impact Society, we have the opportunity to work with many First Nation Communities and help them to establish confidence through strength-based development. Our intent is to guide them into operating out of a ‘what do I do best?’ mindset. We are not there to pick out their shortcomings or reiterate their struggles, but rather to help highlight their unique strengths and gifts they have been innately given. This will then lend itself as the foundation for building a strong and unified community.
So what sets Impact Society apart from the other organizations that work towards a similar feat? I believe it can be boiled down to a key difference, one that is well captured by Simon Sinek in his Ted Talk “Start with the Why.” He states that all people and organizations know what they do, most know how they do it, but very few know why they do what they do. And that’s the key. It’s the ‘why’ that connects with humans. That is what Impact does so well, operating from the inside out; from the WHY to the WHAT. We reach sustainable outcomes through a constructive process of feeling – thought – behaviour, exemplifying the science of change. The reason for what we do, our why, is: helping people identify, operate and live from their strengths, and in essence help them in the journey to discover their ‘why.’ This is because every person has strengths, whether they have been identified or not, and we are there to help dust off or rediscover them and unlock their full potential.
As a kind of mediator, Impact Society uses a holistic approach starting from our ‘why’ to bridge the gap between Industry and First Nation Communities to help meet mutually constructive and positive outcomes. In 2015, this process has involved Treaty 8 First Nations who have seen transformational change through strength-based development delivered by HEROES programs, individual mentorship, and vision facilitation for the community. Katie from Halfway River, after our Heroes At Home program stated that,
“The tools shared will help me to parent with confidence, parent to inspire and develop integrity through communication.”
It’s truly an inspiring experience getting to be a part of someone’s life story, one that we strive to never take for granted. As we continue to evolve as an organization, we hope to continue to keep our ‘why’ at our core, helping each individual identify and develop their strengths, and in turn inspire change in themselves, and in their community.
– Jessica Charles, Indigenous Leadership & Development Project Coordinator, Impact Society