After working on several successful CSR campaigns, I’ve noticed that many of the best ones originate from a company leader’s personal passion for a cause, rather than supporting one that is trendy. It’s this sense of authenticity that has a contagious effect, inspiring the media, customers and employees in a real way.
A good example of this can be found in Brené Brown’s now famous talk at TED: The Power of Vulnerability, which has been viewed by almost 9 million people – one of the most-watched talks of all time at the conference.
She researched people who have a strong sense of “connection,” and found that what they had in common was a sense of “courage”. She explained the word “courage” comes from the Latin word “cor”, meaning “heart”, and the original definition “was to tell the story of who are with your whole heart. “ She posits that individuals who can communicate in this authentic way can easily connect with others.
The courage to speak from the heart about a problem that deeply is the essence of authenticity and the key to making any issue matter for the rest of us. When leaders share their personal stories regarding how they decided to commit themselves to making a difference, they share themselves in a powerful way, deepen connections between individuals and create a strong sense of community around a brand and its CSR effort.