Baraka Blog

Growing thoughts

Characteristics of a Social Entrepreneur – Humble

Picture 6A wonderful Arabic poem uses a metaphor to describe humble individuals; they appear like stalks of wheat, bending and weighted down by the abundance of the wheat grain they carry.  This is contrasted with the empty stalks that are blowing in the wind, raised high, due to their emptiness.

ملىء السنابل تنحني بتواضعٍ   والفارغاتُ رؤوسهن شوامخُ

In recent months, I’ve come across many social and environmental entrepreneurs in the Middle East and the US. Without exception, they were all rich in experience and knowledge in their field. Some traveled to places I only dream of, others read books I find intimidating. Some met heads of state, received numerous degrees, awards and honors from reputable institutions worldwide.  And without exception, they are all humble.

They are eager to learn about others rather than brag about their accomplishments. What I find encouraging is that social and environmental entrepreneurs are bringing a new face to business.  While not all men and women in mainstream business practice are lacking humility, traditionally corporate cultures, corporate structures and brand confidence advocated a degree of snobbery, or a pride in belonging to an establishment/organization. Overtime, people forget their individual worth and exhibit a strange sense of pride and snobbery for their association with their institutions.  I stress, this doesn’t no apply to all, but it is certainly present and more so in some industries than others.

The humility social and environmental entrepreneurs exhibit draws people to them. Collaborators, supporters, and recipients of their good work rally around them and spread the message of their work far and wide. They rarely need to self-promote or spend excessively on marketing and PR activities.  The next time you’re in the presence of one, observe!

4 responses to “Characteristics of a Social Entrepreneur – Humble

  1. Mounir Baccouche October 19, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    Now that I discovered this amazing blog where simplicity meets complexity, I think I will be a regular reader…
    To come back to the topic of Snobbery vs Humility… many lessons can be read from the behavior of our beloved prophets Mohamed (PBUH) who taught us how to pay respect for each other’s and learn from each other’s irrespective of our color, gender or social position etc……
    Unfortunately, snobbery is becoming a fashion nowadays just to meet some other snobs expectations… Yet again; if one looks down a bit, he will realise that at the end of the day….. we are all children of Adam and Eve.. and there is only GOD who is the biggest among all… Not only that part but…as a wise man said, be nice to all on the way up as…. you might need them on the way down..
    In 25years of my career, I have experienced situations where my chairman walks in the bank without even greeting the hard workers staff; and another Chairman sits down on the floor with the company’s driver and serves him Food during a social gathering….. Who’s the happiest one among the two today? I let you guess…..

    Humbly yours,
    Mounir.

  2. Pingback: Dubai 4 Acumen – Social Entrepreneurship Workshop | being rama

  3. Pingback: Dubai 4 Acumen – Social Entrepreneurship Workshop « maraam

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