What’s different about the newest generation of leaders? There are meaningful distinctions in how they communicate, view social issues, demand authenticity, use social media, and look at the workplace. But there is no difference quite as pronounced as the desire to both do business and do good.
DRINK COFFEE, FIX A TOOTH
Recently I had the good fortune of meeting Thomas Fitzpatrick and his wife Tara. Thomas is an emerging leader in San Diego and a dentist. In addition to running two successful dental clinics, he volunteers his to help people in Nicaragua. He regularly travels along with other doctors there to give away his services to people in need.
One year his volunteer clinic was set up at a Nicaraguan coffee plantation. Thomas noticed the high quality of the coffee there. Then the idea struck him. . . why not import the coffee to San Diego and sell it, then use the profits to fund free dental clinics in Nicaragua? Why not?
Well that’s just what Thomas did. He established CuraCoffee, a company to benefit the dental charity (inspired by the TOMS Shoes business model). He established a shipping relationship with another San Diego coffee house (that was already shipping coffee from Nicaragua and had extra container space). Everybody wins. The Nicaraguan farmers get a fair trade deal on their coffee beans. San Diego gets a great source for premium coffee. Volunteer dentists get funds for supplies so they can help people. Nicaraguans get their teeth fixed.
Thomas and Tara could have simply lived the California dream of professional success. But they didn’t stop there. They looked around and asked how they could make things better. They are making a difference using their desire to change the world AND their business skills. Our future is brighter because of the thinking of emerging leaders like Thomas and Tara.
Photos courtesy CuraCoffee and Thomas Fitzpatrick