As business leaders, we often measure our success in profit margins, revenue growth or awards. But a lot of that feels pretty hollow when we take a step back and ask the tough question, does it all really matter?
My company is called Massive Mission. I’m often asked: What does that mean? Well the Mission part is to make the world a little bit better of a place along the way. That might sound cheesy and cliche but honestly? I don’t care. Giving back has helped me and my team do more than just make money and I truly believe we are making a difference in our community.
Last year, our team embarked on a journey with Backlight Productions - a non-profit organization based in Nashville TN, dedicated to empowering adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities through the arts. Their mission? To offer education in the arts and enable these talented individuals to shine in integrated performances.
We followed Backlight Productions for nearly a year as they prepared for their inclusive production of "Shrek the Musical". Our experience culminated in the creation of a documentary short that not only showcases their cause but illuminates the profound impact they have on the cast of their productions.
This experience was transformative. Witnessing the dedication, talent, humor and commitment of these artists was inspirational. For me it is a vivid reminder that there are worthy causes, big and small that make huge differences in people’s lives every day.
This experience has been transformative for our team as well. In the time since our documentary, several team members (myself included) have had the pleasure of attending other Backlight Productions like Beauty and the Beast, Singin’ in the Rain, and most recently their improv Comedy Club show with Third Coast Comedy. I’m personally impressed how one chance giveback project has turned into an ongoing relationship with an organization that is truly making an impact.
This is why I believe corporate giveback should be as central to our ethos as leaders as making profit. It’s about more than just charity; it’s about being a responsible, integral part of the community. It motivates our teams, shows people we're invested in more than just our own success, and perhaps most importantly, it feels incredibly good.
The best part is, you don’t have to jump right into the deep end on this. We started small. One of the first videos we ever did at Massive Mission was for our non-profit friends at Cradles to Crayons Chicago. Now 5 years later we’ve made media for: American Cancer Society, Make-a-Wish Foundation, Taco Bell Foundation, The Phoenix Club, Hands on Nashville, The Forge, Beautiful Spirited Women, Communities in Schools (Chicago) and more.
If you’re reading this post, I challenge you; If you’re a business leader, revisit your company's giveback initiatives. Seek ways to donate, volunteer, or champion causes that matter to you and your people. Again, you can start small and grow from there. If you’re an employee, then I challenge you too. Speak up and demand your companies do more to support those who need it most.