In a conversation with someone this week, I heard about a desire to scale back involvement in an organization. There were some frustrations about the way meetings and other issues were handled, and it seemed that some well-ingrained habits within the organization have been undermining its purpose to some extent. It is a familiar scenario in many places where "the way we do it" is what it is because that's the way it's "always" been done. We can become entrenched in habit very quickly, especially if it means we don't have to use our time and energy devising methods that are more ideal to our purpose and intention.
Once in a while, a person comes along who sees the purpose and intention of an organization and believes in it strongly enough to desire improvement and growth. Both in self and in others. If that person is committed to finding tactful ways to teach others, then this visionary can serve an organization by guiding it toward deeper awareness of its purpose and away from the things that persist out of sheer inertia. Transformation can happen when we are reminded why we want to do something and given an opportunity to be invigorated by vision and purpose.
A lot of people believe they know the "right" way to do something. And many times, the "right" way is simply "the way it's always been done." So a visionary might have to be a bit persistent and patient. A teacher may need to learn how to tap into the personal benefits that will motivate people to change. That might be a frustrating enterprise, and it would certainly be easier to write people off and decide that things were never going to change. But wouldn't it be so worth it to be part of that transformation? To see something you really believe in blossom because you were willing to open your mouth . . . gracefully?
The real rewards happen when we find something we value enough to put ourselves on the line, and we actually do.