By Juanita Pardesi
There is power in having resolve in business. Non-profits also have to function effectively and efficiently to deliver social impact – and so must apply the same tenacious “enterprising spirit” to their operations, that Adam Smith wrote about. Leaders, who have experience going through tumultuous times, will tell you that success against the odds is about having resolve – resolve to re-strategise for every small victory, innovate and above all press on. Determination is key!
Social entrepreneurship, and for that matter all entrepreneurship, is about having a firm grasp of the market factors and probabilities as well as drive and a passionate commitment to something one believes in, whether that’s addressing a social ill like gender-based violence or an economic ill like poor customer service. In practice, it’s the same playing field.
Leaders must live by example, and example implies presence. Resolve is something that happens every moment. The kind of resolve that wins the war and not just the battle is more than boardroom oath-swearing – it’s the resolve to give it your best. To be there through the good and the bad. To offer your service daily, with methodical attention to detail and effortless social management of the team. To invest in others even when your tank is dry, and draw from that deeper well of resolve – resolve to act!
The power found in resolve, when it’s coupled with good business sense and social skills, is that it empowers your leadership with an energy that is infectious. Your team responds with more care and diligence, firmer commitment and the same desire to win. When it comes to beating the odds, that certainly counts in your favour!
Juanita Pardesi is CEO of Seriti Institute, a non-profit development consultancy which works to strengthen civil society organisations to work more effectively, supports decent work opportunities in agriculture, provides facilitated learning workshops, and advocates for social entrepreneurship and participatory practice.