July 26, 2010

Why Would Men Volunteer for Boys?

Below is a wonderful video by Daniel Pink, a successful author and writer for the likes of the New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, and Wired, where he is a contributing editor. He is also a business analyst for CNN, CNBC, ABC, and NPR. He's one smart man, and the presentation is both eye-opening and accompanied by extremely creative animation.

His talk discusses the power of tapping into people's intrinsic motivations. It's a very counter-intuitive take on "the hidden truths behind what really motivates us." As he says in the clip, the science behind what movitates us is a little freaky! Very simply put, he says that if people have enough time and money, and are given a chance to do something they really love, many like-minded people will (and do) use the opportunity to band together to change the world, or a company, or maybe a community.

For a guy interested in Man-Making, Mr. Pink's talk brings up the question how we might use these principles to call men into service to young males. Could we invite community service oriented business to give men PAID time away from work to participate in group mentoring activities for boys? Can we then put out a compelling call to service that men can hear?

Invest 11 minutes of your time to learn a little about yourself, motivational research, and a fresh seed thought about finding man-makers. If this video spurs ideas on the topic for you, please comment. The boys are waiting.

Go to this link if the video isn't visible.

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  1. Hi Earl,

    Thanks for posting the animation of Dan Pinks RSA presentation. This is the essence of the open source movement and as I indicated when sharing this piece recently, it's a great piece of "context" to use when considering Volunteer engagement in all volunteer activities. As you know, I make a great living in the tech industry with one of the industry titans and even that titan understands the value of volunteerism and fosters a culture of volunteering amongst our 400,000 workers. My work as a volunteer staff and board member of Boys to Men Canada is not only sanctioned by my employer by sponsored and supported with success tools to support Non-Profits in this critical work. When I get my professional and community passions supported and fostered by my organization its a win win for me and for my world. Thank you for considering the context with Men working with boys on their journey to Manhood, it is important life altering work not only for the boys but I can speak personally as well for me as a man.

  2. Warren6:37 AM

    Earl, (I checked out the non-animated version also).

    Seems to me he's talking about doing/making/working for/on something, that doesn't pay more money, yet ONLY costs time, thought, and energy, and that gets results, solves problems, and gives satisfaction because you...LOVE it!

    Or....even more simply...it IS the practice of exercising LOVE [of work, art, economics, business, etc.]!?

    And from whom have we men learned about the value of doing something that takes time, thought, energy, and gives satisfaction and costs little to no money....women!

    Could it be, like in the business world, we men-makers are eventually catching up to our intrinsic feminine sides and our counterparts when it comes to what makes the world 'a better place' for our families and our communities....with the 'discovery' of an 'old fashioned' recipe called...[do man-making for the] LOVE [of] THY NEIGHBOR [hood boys] AS THYSELF?

    This is timely for me, how about you?

  3. Warren, I had a guy in one of my workshops say (something like), "I don't have a fricking feminine side, I'm a man capable of full human expression and I'm just living into my masculine potential." Ever since hearing that, I've been careful about promoting the notion that men should be more "feminine." That said, cultural permission for men (and women) to be something other than just bread winners and to find new ways to fully express themselves, sounds like a new day. If, as Dave says in his comment, we can enroll business in the model of being a compassionate enterprise, underwriting some time for employees to "make our community or the world a better place," we'll have the perfect environment for men to show up for boys. Bit of a stretch though at this point in time with the recession and all, but there are places where it's happening.

  4. Tim W.1:10 PM

    While I discuss masculinity and femininity in my classroom presentations on gender and non-traditional careers, I hope I/we live to see the day that these become relatively meaningless categories/ideas. I believe that all of us have the capability to experience and express a wide range of emotions, skills, interests and we don't need to feel inadequate if we're not "masculine" or "feminine" enough or weird/abnormal if we happen to exhibit the other gender's traits.


Your response to this blog post is appreciated and welcome.