Community Service—Core Value or Competitive Edge?

Community Service—Core Value or Competitive Edge?

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”  

Mahatma Gandhi 

Perhaps there has always been a need for people to “find themselves”—that is, discover who they really are and what their purpose in life ought to be.  Yet for those of us living in the second decade of the 21st century, it certainly feels like there’s more of a sense of urgency about this not-so-novel concept. From social media posts to self-improvement programs, individuals are searching for ways to be better, feel better, and live better than ever before. 

Your Corporate Family® is comprised of such individuals, and your business serves customers who share this same need for significance.  This means that you, along with other exceptional leaders, must find a way to support these key constituents’ needs—which interestingly can, according to the venerated leader Mahatma Gandhi, be attained through the practice of serving others. 

In 21st century lingo, we call this community service—and corporate leaders, such as those on Forbes Human Resources Council, understand the importance of such endeavors:  “By implementing community service programs and ongoing partnerships that staff members can really get behind, they’ll look forward to the engagement and you may increase the likelihood of building a solid team that sticks around for the unforeseeable future” (see for more details). 

In an August 2022 Entrepreneur post, Frederik Bussler points out the benefits of making community service a priority because leaders who “dedicate themselves to helping others … open up new opportunities for themselves and their businesses. Acting on core values can help build a loyal community of consumers and create an engaged workforce ready to work towards common goals” (read more of “How Entrepreneurs Can Use Community Service for Growth” at 

Notice Bussler’s recommendation to act “on core values.” In The LEADing Edge: 9 Strategies for Improving Internal and Intentional Leadership, we explain that values are “the principles, goals, or standards held and accepted by a group of people” (Wilke & Wilke, 2019, p. 197). With this in mind, take a few minutes to consider the values that are integral to your Corporate Family.  Is your leadership team committed to these core values? Are they cascaded to every level of your organization?  Do your customers experience these values in their interactions with people and/or products? And, as pertains to the topic at hand, is community service one of your Corporate Family’s core values?  If not, why not? 

The team at LEADon® has worked with some executives who’ve struggled with adding community service to their company’s agenda.  ‘After all,’ they have sometimes verbalized, ‘how could spending time reaching out to others possibly impact productivity and profitability?’  An honest question—and here’s an honest answer:  “Companies that encourage community involvement distinguish themselves from their competitors, and see many benefits, including loyal customers and happier employees” (read Lindsay Lavine’s article, “The Power of Giving Back:  How Community Involvement Can Boost Your Bottom Line,” at 

The bottom line is that community service should be a core value in every business striving to find a competitive edge. People today, especially new talent from the younger generations, are searching for Corporate Families who share their need for self-improvement and service.  Customers are drawn to businesses that put giving as a priority in addition to profit margins.  And, according to Bussler, “a commitment to service can help you become a leader, not only in your business but in your community.” That’s a worthy goal to strive for—today and every day moving forward. 

If the team at LEADon can assist you in your personal and professional leadership endeavors, please contact us at 858.592.0700, or visit us online at to peruse our services and access free resources such as The LEADing Blog.