One of the things is striking about an organization that has the size, geographic expanse, and complexity that Engineers Without Borders has is the intensity of the vision that is inside each person, and their willingness to own and express that vision. It’s a conviction, or belief, that everyone seems to have, that extends far beyond intellectual interest and supersedes personal interest. There is no shyness, no fear in taking a stand, and whether it is articulated internally, in a small group, at a retreat or on a stage, this vision is powerful, and that’s something that I haven’t felt yet with any other organization I’ve been part of.
This is the first of multiple posts I plan on putting up as a result of the thinking I got out of our West Africa Retreat, which happened the Thanksgiving weekend in Bolgatanga, Upper East Region, Ghana.
The amount of pure vision that I felt coming out of this group of 26 people was incredible, and that’s what I’d like to share.
On good visual aids: “Sorry for not having put that on the flipchart.”, “Go go gadget vision!”
Haha okay but seriously now…
On EWB operations: “We are stretched. Has it ever been any different?”, “Our organization just spends on people.”, “We’re running on passion-fuel”
On EWB leadership: “The hairs on my arm were tired from standing up.”, “Leadership is less about being on a pedestal, more about looking in a mirror.”, “an incredible, intelligent, inspiring group of risk-takers and change-makers.”, “you meet these people that exude leadership that make you want to follow them to places you wouldn’t go alone”
On EWB Vision: “Ghanaians deserve to be invested in. We’re going backwards in development if we’re not investing in these people.”, “the key is human potential, unrealized”, “Give me something that’s going to make me cry tears of joy.”, “A good mission statement is something that makes people jump out of the trenches and start running towards enemy lines.”, “we need a catalogue of stories that points a trajectory towards what we want to see.”, “it’s a question of fairness”, “we see potential that others don’t even see and we push, push, push, push.”, “unselfish love”.