It seems that at various times in our lives we want to be one thing or another. Maybe even a couple of things at the same time. Many times these ideas are influenced by other people or circumstances. And as we mature, normally our natural gifts and talents start to emerge. We, like many enterprises, appear predisposed to be “one” thing; to have “one” goal; to go in “one” direction. But we are not really created that way. We, like most enterprises, are truly multi-dimensional. For enterprises, those dimensions play out in multi-dimensional goals. For humans, they come to life in multi-dimensional impact predispositions.
Personal Impact Predispositions
When a person majors in Christian Studies, we are pretty certain they are interested in having spiritual impact. When a person majors in Business, we can almost guarantee that they are interested in creating economic impact. When a person majors in Social Work, surely they must be interested in making a social impact. And when someone majors in Environmental Studies, there can be little doubt that they are interested in producing environmental impact. And like how we stereotype enterprises according to historical preconceptions, we tend to stereotype a student’s impact predisposition according to historical preconceptions based on their chosen major in college. However, most students, like most enterprises, are concerned with more than one type of impact. Most students have a multidimensional impact predisposition. Some students might choose careers that provide the chance for simultaneous social and environmental impact. Others might choose careers that provide the chance to have impact in all four areas at the same time. How about you?
The following paragraphs will share examples of individuals that have multi-dimensional impact predispositions and the multi-dimensional bottom line enterprises they run.
Chris Dearnley is a pastor. He has an MBA from Harvard. He runs a non-profit organization, FundaVida, in San Jose, Costa Rica, that battles the ravages of poverty on children like school drop outs, prostitution, drug and alcohol abuse and economic disadvantage.
Becky Turner Martin has an undergraduate degree in international relations and a graduate degree in humanitarian logistics and management. She has worked in Bolivia, Haiti, and Switzerland. She has worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Centers for Disease Control. She also founded Interwoven, a non-profit organization that supports faith-based women’s cooperatives around the world via economic development for personal, group, and community social, environmental, and faith development.
Kenneth Lander was a lawyer. He is a coffee farmer that helped create a sustainable coffee initiative in central Costa Rica. He is also a co-founder of Thrive Farmers, the coffee provider to Chick-Fil-A restaurants and others. More importantly, Thrive Farmers has created a new model for the coffee supply chain where small-plot farmers now see a much greater profit margin.
Tamra Ryan is an author. She has been named one of the up and coming most influential women in Colorado by the Denver Post. She is also the CEO of the Women’s Bean Project, a nationally-recognized social enterprise that provides women immediate income, arranges support services to overcome barriers to employment, and teaches job readiness skills.
Would you like to be a person of multi-dimensional impact, like these individuals, one day?
Your Bottom Line
There are truly hundreds and thousands of illustrations that can show the multi-dimensional impact predispositions of people making economic, social, environmental, and spiritual differences around the world. They have not allowed others to peg them as “one”-dimensional. They all have recognized their own impact predispositions. Those are the impact areas where making a difference comes most easy. And they also realize that they have to work a little harder in those areas where they would like to make a difference but for which they do not have a natural predisposition for impact. But as the illustrations above have shown, anything is possible.
What about you? Don’t let someone else make the decision for you. Determine your own natural impact predispositions. Then determine what else you need to do to make the difference you wish to make! Determine what major helps you get there! Determine what career provides those opportunities, and go for it!
So you want to be a…The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor prepares students for leadership, service, and faith-informed discernment in a global society. Whatever you want to do and whatever change you’d like to inspire, a UMHB education can help you get there! We invite you to visit our website for more information, or stop by for a visit.