The Mark That I’ll Be Leaving

As I was riding my bike a few weeks ago early on a Sunday morning, I was thinking about our new corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative—I know, that’s weird—and then I heard a voice. No, not that voice, but the voice of Zac Brown on the “Remedy” track of the “Jekyll + Hyde” album.

“I’ve been thinking about the mark that I’ll be leaving,” he sings, and that sort of hit me. What mark will I leave? What mark will ReviveHealth leave on the world around us?

Leaving a mark can seem like a big thing to consider. Yet I think we sometimes fail to realize that we leave a mark no matter what, it’s just a question of whether that mark is intentional or just the cumulative effect of a thousand incremental little actions, decisions, and behaviors. We choose to be mindful, deliberate, and thoughtful and that helps us leave the right mark.

We leave a mark on the people we love—our parents, siblings, spouses, significant others, children, and extended families. Sometimes this is where we struggle the most, because those people see us tired, stressed, and at our worst. Yet this is the most important mark most of us will make, especially when we have children. When I consider my own life, I believe that the mark I leave on my kids is the most important thing I will ever do. I think about this every day, I work on it every day, and sometimes I even feel like I do it well. I’m so far from perfect it’s scary, but I never stop trying.

We also leave our mark on our co-workers every day, in every meeting and every interaction. When we smile, encourage people, laugh, and live out our values like Have Fun, we leave a positive mark on those closest to us (at least by proximity, if not emotionally or relationally). Each of us makes this choice every day in hundreds of little ways and moments, knowing everything we do makes other people’s days a little better or a little worse.

We leave our mark on our clients and vendor partners, too. When we treat people the way they want to be treated, and we show our clients and vendor partners that we aren’t like everyone else they deal with, we leave a mark on a bigger circle of people. This mark is made in a hundred little ways every day, month after month.

Now we consider how to make a mark on our communities, especially people we don’t work with or for, which is where the new CSR effort comes in.

Recently, we announced a new corporate social responsibility (CSR) effort. ReviveHealth stands for a lot of things—incredibly strong culture and values, healthcare industry expertise, growth and progress—and now we have a chance to stand for something even more important. We can be an example to the agency world of effective and valuable corporate social responsibility—CSR that really contributes to our communities and helps us individually and collectively feel the positive impact we can have on causes that need our attention and resources. Our CSR efforts should reflect the breadth and depth of our agency’s expertise and experience, as well as our personal interests, and our presence in Nashville, Santa Barbara, and Minneapolis.

This week, we had the first meeting of the internal group that volunteered to help plan our CSR effort to review the results of an internal survey and discuss the way forward. We are looking at an approach that combines opportunities for individual volunteer days, a preferred partner overall (or one per city where we have offices) or a single cause that binds together a nonprofit group in each market, and a single event so we can volunteer as a group.

We also are evaluating the possibility of representing a nonprofit group as a pro bono client, handling their marketing and PR with a set monthly budget and staffing it with ReviveHealth volunteers who may change over time so multiple people have a chance to be involved. That will be determined by the needs of the organization we partner with, and how this might fit into the overall CSR effort.

Our goal is to select one cause and then find one organization we can support with a multi-year commitment, or one cause per city where we have an office if there is no single group that works across all three cities. Be on the lookout for that email, and once we have feedback we can start discussions with groups that are devoted to the selected cause.

I truly believe this CSR effort is a great new way we can make a mark. Think about Zac Brown’s words: “I’ve been thinking about the mark that I’ll be leaving.” If we all think about that—and the mark we can leave individually and as a big group—we will leave an amazing mark.  And we will leave the world a little bit better than we found it.

Onward and upward.

August 2, 2016
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