Fastest Man in the World Teaches Us a Lesson about Social Responsibility
Social Responsibility is an important measure of success.
We believe that the bottom line is not the sole measure of company success. As a responsible player in the global marketplace, we are committed to running our business in a way that is socially responsible, environmentally sustainable, and economically profitable (Global core value).
One of the most talked about athletes heading into the 2012 Games was a Jamaican sprinter by the name of Usain Bolt. Having broken on to the Olympic scene in 2008 in Beijing, Bolt shattered the world record in the 100m and won gold, leaving his competitors in the dust.
This year, all eyes were on him to see if he could do it again. Not only did Bolt defend his gold in the 100m, he also won gold in the 200m and the men’s 4×100 relay, breaking another world record; the first person in Olympic history to do so.
Olympic gold, especially in an area as popular and visible as athletics, often leads to endorsements and opportunities to earn significant money. It certainly did for Bolt, a charismatic and dynamic individual, who benefitted financially from his skill and his title as the fastest man in the world in the years following his Olympic win.
Bolt grew up in Trelawny, a small, poor town in Jamaica. He attended public schools that often didn’t have the things we would consider basic in an educational environment.
When fame and wealth came his way, one of the first things he did was to give back to the schools in his home town – from computers, structural improvements, sports equipment and teachers’ salaries, Bolt gave back to his elementary, middle and senior schools.
He has also provided financial support for the establishment of several health centres in Jamaica, and has supported environmental and other causes around the world.
Bolt set up a foundation for the continued funding of the causes that are important to him.
The Usain Bolt Foundation’s mission is “the creation of opportunities through education and cultural development for a positive change.” The foundation is “dedicated to the legacy for happy children; to enhance the character of children through educational and cultural development, as they live their dreams.”
Bolt’s commitment to social responsibility doesn’t end with simply providing financial support. His presence is seen and known in his home town, as he spreads his message of hope, encouraging kids to believe in and work toward their dreams.
Usain Bolt believes in being responsible with the fortune he has earned and giving back to a community that doesn’t have much.
Social responsibility is one of Global’s core values because we also believe that’s important. For this reason, we offer our employees paid days off to participate in volunteer activities, as well as contributing financially to worthy local, regional and international causes.
We may not all be as rich as a high-profile Olympic gold medal winner, but all of us can do our part. Whether it’s spending your time or your money, there will always be people who need what you have to give. The question is, are we willing to give it?
Many would look at Bolt’s career and say without argument, that he has achieved unparalleled success in his career – shattering records and leaving in his wake a trail of wins. And yet, he would say that success is measured by more than just his achievements on the track.
“I’m honored to be able to put my Olympic win to good use and spread awareness about the causes that are important to me,” says Bolt. “It’s a great feeling to know you have the ability to reach out to so many different people.”
All of us can reach out somewhere and make a difference in our sphere of influence. Those efforts are an important measure of our success.