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I am often asked, as a follow-up question after explaining what I do for a living, “Where did the name for your company come from?”
I’ve answered that question countless times, and honestly it never gets old. Telling the story of Lonesome George the Pinta Island Tortoise and how he inspired us as his namesake always brings a look of intrigue and fascination to the inquirer. When I describe how his story became a call to action that evolved into a mission to educate our next generation of leaders, I can tell that person is mentally “connecting the dots” and ultimately understanding why we exist, to Outfit Agents of Change.
But looking back on those conversations with friends, relatives, associates, and sometimes even complete strangers, there is an equally important follow-up question that I too often forget to ask them:
“What is your Lonesome George?”
Before focusing on how to develop our organization and meet our objectives as a social enterprise hoping to make a difference in the world, we had to truly understand the driving force and message behind our inspiration. This is key in defining purpose and direction, and more importantly, fueling passion. For us, this happened to come in the form of a rare, now extinct tortoise. For you, it could be something else entirely.
At the heart of every single person looking to change their community for the better is a “Lonesome George” — that one issue, that one story that speaks to you more than any other, one that propels you to accept the challenge and take action. So no matter what it is, we encourage you to seek it out. It may be something that goes by a simple name, seemingly representing a singular, isolated event or thing. But look deep within, listen closely, and you just might discover a truly special opportunity to make a real impact on a much bigger scale.
By Chris Leong, Director, Marketing & Customer Experience