Surf City Lawyers - December 2018



organizations are created equal, and supporting the wrong organization can do more harm than good. Here are some tips on finding the best fit for your business. ALIGN MISSIONS When narrowing down the thousands of local and national charities you have to choose from, comparing the mission statements of these organizations to your own is a great place to start. Charities that align with or complement your own goals as a business are natural partners. Still, while matching big-picture goals is a great start, you also need to make sure your chosen organization aligns with the heart and soul of your business: your employees and customers. FIND HUMAN CONNECTIONS The most powerful charity work your business can support is a cause that stems from the needs and passions of people connected to your work. Maybe a member of your team lives with a disability or a significant number of your customers face social, cultural, or economic challenges. Putting time, money, and effort into

supporting a reputable organization that helps the people and communities connected to your business is one of the best ways to show you care. CHECK CREDENTIALS Good intentions only go so far. To really make your charity efforts count and ensure your donations are used appropriately, you need to do some research. Thankfully, organizations like the Better Business Bureau, Charity Watch, and keep data on IRS-registered charities, making it easy to see which groups are reputable. In general, you should look for organizations that have a great track record of transparency and make all of their financial information readily available. REMEMBER THE ‘WHY’ If you’re just looking for a tax write-off or good publicity, charity efforts are going to feel hollow and frustrating. More than anything, philanthropy should involve a cause your business is passionate about — no matter how big or small. Taking the time to remind yourself why you’ve chosen to support a particular cause will keep you from losing sight of what giving back is all about.

We believe that small businesses can have a positive impact on local communities and the wider world. A successful charity campaign can make a world of difference for people in need, especially over the holidays. But not all charitable

When you visit resources like, read the latest book touted by entrepreneurial pioneers, or listen to the hottest leadership podcast, you’re going to see common trends. Many of the topics covered by these outlets focus on working together and discuss how to effectively communicate with your teams — each one claiming to have solutions for what ails your business. Many of these resources are wonderful and provide tangible information that can be directly applied to your organization, but they often leave out how to get results. Discussions get bogged down in the minutiae of the subject. They can spiral so deep that whoever ingests the media loses sight of one critical point: Teamwork comes down to getting stuff done. ARE COMMUNICATION AND RESULTS DEPENDENT ON EACH OTHER? Many of the issues covered in these materials focus on communication breakdowns, and rightfully so. In many cases, people struggle to converse with one another and obtain mutually beneficial results effectively. The problem with this mindset is it creates a belief that focusing on interpersonal dynamics will lead to increased productivity and positive outcomes. Logically speaking, Common Misconceptions of Collaboration TEAMWORK MEANS GETTING SH*T DONE

that would be like putting all the ingredients of a cake together but never placing it in the oven. You have to take further action to reach the end product. IS IT BETTER TO WORK BACKWARD OR FORWARD? One of Stephen Covey’s directives in his book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” is to “begin with the end in mind.” He explains the best way to achieve your goal is to start with your desired result and work backward from it. Unfortunately, as you work backward, you might get lost in the smaller steps, which could derail you from your initial goal. One possible solution would be to make a small amendment to his initial instruction: Begin and end with the end in mind, making sure to keep your eyes on the prize. When push comes to shove, businesses are paid to get results. You don’t enter into an industry to become a better communicator or learn goal- setting strategies. While learning these tactics can help you become a more well-rounded person and a more effective leader, without results, you’re just good at talking. Outcomes, more than words, inspire people and drive a business forward. 2

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