Thursday, 17 September 2015

Turn that competitive streak into a charitable one!

By Amanda Vigar, Managing Partner, V&A Bell Brown LLP
It seems to have become something of a corporate competition - business owners trying to outdo each other with how heavy a workload they and their company has.
Complaining about not having enough hours in the day, how they have to burn the midnight oil all the time and staff having to work flat out are seen as a status symbol and a sign of success.
I hear so many variations on the same theme -
·         “We have to focus on the core business, we can’t afford to take our eye off the ball with outside distractions.”
·         “It is just a waste of time getting involved in that sort of thing.”
·         It’s not our responsibility to save the world.”
·         “Someone else can do all that touchy feely stuff.”
Come on - hands-up how many of you reading this Business Battle-axe column have been guilty of this?
Yes, business owners and their staff have to graft really hard to bring home the bacon. There is no getting away from that fact.
But I believe that every business owner has a social duty to make time in their hectic schedules for a bit of philanthropy. Being busy is simply no excuse.
Everyone can make time if they want to. And what could be better than finding a slot in the diary to do a bit of good for the local community or a worthy cause or charity?
There are great benefits in embracing corporate social responsibility.  You can help a cause close to your heart, it helps you take a well-earned break from the usual routine and grindstone, and then there is the feel good factor.
Why not get staff involved? – encouraging them to become volunteers or take part in charity events can enhance a firm’s personnel development strategy and help build teamwork. And not least give employees the chance to have a bit of fun.
Never let it be said that the Business Battle-axe does not practise what she preaches.
Having hit the age of 50, I have set myself the challenge of completing my first ever triathlon – the Last of the Summer Tri - in the name of charity.  Outside work most of my spare time is taken up training for this endurance test.
I am supporting the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) – a cause close to my heart as I lost my Dad to this horrible disease in 2013.  The other worthy cause is Huddersfield-based One Good Turn, which does great work improving the quality of life of individuals and families experiencing poverty and isolation.
For those who may be interested I have set up two mydonate pages:
One Good Turn -
So I am throwing down the gauntlet – or in my case a rolling pin!  How about turning that competitive streak into a charitable one?
My rallying cry is – come on all you business leaders across the Examiner’s circulation area I challenge you to follow my Business Battle-axe lead.
Find time to do something for a good cause. And don’t forget I won’t accept any excuse or take no for answer!


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