Mary Doyle
Sep 13, 2018 · 3 min read

Incubators, Accelerators, Coworking, Maker Spaces, Hackathons, Social Enterprise, the Sharing Economy, Open Source…

We’re working together, making things, sharing expertise, exploring, challenging, pushing the limits of what’s possible; and we’re creating safe, supportive and encouraging environments in which to do it.

Essentially, we’re building a collaborative culture around being better humans.

We’re also going through an evolutionary mindset shift; in Positive Psychology this new mindset is referred to as the Benefit Mindset, which promotes wellbeing on both an individual and a collective level.

The Benefit Mindset describes everyday leaders who discover their strengths to make valuable contributions to causes that are greater than the self, leaders who believe in making a meaningful difference, positioning their actions within a purposeful context.

I believe that meaningful contribution is at the heart of being human, and that these tools, trends and spaces enable contribution.

I also believe that the chasm between personal expression and meaningful contribution is still pretty wide. There are still missing steps between sharing personal information on Facebook and joining a maker space or participating in a civic hackathon. Moving from personal expression to contribution, for the majority of people, involves more pathways being developed and more connections being made.

It’s an exciting time and easier than ever to find likeminded people who just “get it” and are contributing in a big way. Hanging out with these people (your “tribe,” when you find them) is energizing. How many of you have attended an event, conference or summit filled with people who share your passion, and you’ve left feeling validated and inspired?

Many leaders, however, are leapfrogging ahead without leaving a solid breadcrumb trail for others to follow. A leader’s job is to create more leaders. It’s about not leaving people behind. It’s simply human folly to do otherwise because, just like our natural environment, we are all interconnected.

Nature doesn’t thrive because everything tries to grow and reach its potential independently of each other. That would end in disaster and ecological collapse.

There are two parts to the Benefit Mindset:

  1. The mindset of a person who is able to discover their gifts and strengths, and

2. the empowerment to use them to create a meaningful future of greater possibility.

Making connections for people to move from understanding their strengths to finding ways to contribute is essential and yet often overlooked.

Ultimately, the success of any leader in this collaborative era is dependent on the meaningful contributions of others. Giving serious thought to pathway development and engaging with experts in “contribution” such as local volunteer organizations, will help.

Unless people hold genuine concern for the interconnected systems they are a part of, and develop the abilities to attend to, and interact, with those systems, many ‘doing good’ initiatives are likely to be unsuccessful.

For most, a pathway to contribution is the difference between Fearing the Future and Having Faith in it.

Mary Doyle

Written by

I build and pilot programs that support and promote entrepreneurship in rural communities.

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