Just a couple of weeks ago, that same professor was in the middle of one of his long monologues in which he speaks of what he had done or what he had “conquered” as a professional, and challenged “those with the courage to thought they could change the world.”
The challenge was simple, do a presentation of a marketing campaign that not only makes the buyer feel like they need the article or product, but that, when buying it, they are doing good for the environment.
To give you the context, this happened approximately twenty years ago, when not only saying the word recycling and save the planet were considered curse words, but those who believed that “trash” (as the professor would say) were not going anywhere, since “it is almost impossible to achieve in the consumerist society we live in.”
Back then, most of us in class, if not all, worked during the day and studied at night.
Even though we were in the same class, the group we were assigned to was very diverse, there was a phys ed teacher, a multinational company executive secretary, someone who worked at a Accounting firm, a waiter and someone who worked as receptionist and messenger for an advertising agency.
In our first meeting at a pub close to the University, we thought of the alternatives to do this project, following the ‘voluntary’ lines of the professor, while coming up with a really impacting project.
The ideas came and went for a couple of hours. After discussing, accepting, refusing, we decided in what we would call today Social Responsibility, which back then we were calling “giving back to the community.”
The concept back then was not very common, there were very few companies, if any, “giving back” to the community, and much less as part of the company’s mission, but more as a photo opportunity for public relations.
It took us a few meetings, a few cups of coffee and rum to finish, hours before the presentation to finish the proposal, or the project, as we had to call it.
The presentation was one of the best, not because we felt it was, but because the professor said so. But after that compliment recognizing the long hours we dedicated to the project, he repeated the famous phrase from the beginning.
We were stunned, we didn’t know what to do or if we had passed the test. The professor got up from his chair in the back of the room and asked, your intentions are excellent, how are you going to implement it in each of the companies for which you work?
It was the first time that we were not only confronted with how wonderful it was to dream, invent and fantasize of an ideal world, but also to figure out how to implement it, what were the next steps.
That experience not only changed our way of looking at business life, but it gave us a different vision that not only with good intentions we can modify or change the world, but that we should also, when thinking of an idea, figure out how to implement it.
This little incident has not only brought us the opportunity to learn a valuable lesson, but gave us the chance to see further from what we usually do.
Most of the time we hear anywhere w ego, that people should do this or that, if I was such and such maybe I would have done that.
But there very few who put their words into action, very few who burn their hand so that intentions become reality.
Today we invite you to, from now on, instead of saying, dreaming or visualizing what should happen in our lives or the world; we take some time to see what concrete action we can take so that tomorrow we can see those words become a reality.
If we don’t make this change from Word into action, we will fall again into the vicious cycle of saying and not doing.