We are an incredibly achievement oriented society. You might think that in the social sector, people are more idealistic or passion driven, since they are willing to give up some level of monetary achievement. But look again, and you'll see the achievement orientation loud and clear, its just in a different domain. Especially in the new crop of young, entrepreneurial social sector leaders, who want to do big things and change the world. Their focus often ends up being on how much funding they acquire and how much scale they can achieve.
The thing is, for sustainable, impactful organisations, you need effective leaders just as much (if not more) as money. Effective leaders are those who can navigate internal obstacles as well as they do external obstacles. They are self-aware and emotionally intelligent. They know how to lead themselves and they're far better at leading others.
From an achievement orientation to growth orientation
Paradoxically, you need more than an achievement orientation in order to achieve, in the long run. You need a personal growth orientation. You need a leader who is introspective, who is grounded in their purpose and committed to living to their potential. You need a leader who is willing to apply the same level of intelligence and commitment they bring to their work, to working with themselves.
The thing is, many social sector leaders are so used to focusing on the world's problems and how to fix them, hustling to drive change with constrained resources. Focusing on themselves seems counterintuitive and sometimes even feels wrong. Being action oriented, taking the time to introspect doesn't come easy for them. There's also plenty of resistance to 'touchy-feely' personal development stuff - at best, its seen as nice to have but not critical to success.
I think there is so much hope if more driven, socially conscious individuals learn to navigate their internal lives more intelligently. Given their commitment to social impact, I'm hopeful that once they begin to see the correlation of inner work with achieving their dreams, they'll show up to get started.