Many business leaders reach the top of the corporate ladder only to ask, "Is this all there is?" Ray Sanders told OBU students. While success adds value to one's self, he said, significance is adding value to others. He urged the students to seek significance.
Sanders, founder and CEO of GiANT Experiences, spoke about "Business as Missions" during the 2011 Minter Lecture at Oklahoma Baptist University Monday, April 4, in OBU's Geiger Center.
Many business leaders believe their job is to make large sums of money and then give it away, Sanders told the students, referring to that willingness as representing a person's "philanthropic pocket." And yet, he said, real change comes when a person identifies their ability to actually make a difference and goes about it with a passion. Giving toward significance, he said, comes from what he called a person's "purpose pocket."
He challenged OBU students to consider what their purpose -- their calling -- might be. He said each of them can be inspired to "Go, Give and Grow" as leaders.
"At GiANT, we believe charity is for those who cannot help themselves," Sanders said. "Commerce is for those who can."
Four billion people in the world make $4 or less per day, he reported, which translates to 20 percent of the world population harboring 80 percent of the wealth. Christians and business leaders need to do something about those statistics, he said. His company engages leaders in three keys to growth as a business which strategically impact the world. The keys, called a "Triple Bottom Line," are profits, purpose and people.
"Many people think they need more 'stuff,' but they really need to realize they can use additional profits to help others," Sanders said, noting leaders can use the influence of their businesses to literally make lives better -- not offering a hand out, but a hand up through social entrepreneurialism.
"It's one thing to be a social entrepreneur, but as believers, we want to use our businesses to bring eternal life change," Sanders said. "You're in college, beginning to think what your life will entail. How crazy would it be if three … six … 12 of you decided, 'Hey, we can change the world'?"
Sanders told students the quest for significance begins now by deciding to dream big. He said whether they go into the business world or serve through a church, they can use their leadership to influence others toward significance.
"That's business as missions, as far as I'm concerned," Sanders said.
However students choose to use the seconds and minutes of their lives, Sanders reminded them of the Scripture found in Colossians 3:17, "And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."
The Minter Lectureship in American Business Practice, underwritten by 1940 OBU graduate Lloyd G. Minter of Bartlesville, Okla., is designed to provide orientation and training for students in the history and nature of the American economic system and to help students understand and appreciate the professional community. It also promotes proper management of personal finances.
Sanders is founder and CEO of GiANT Experiences, a cause-minded member of the GiANT family of companies which includes GiANT Impact, GiANT Partners and GiANT Capital. With offices in Atlanta, Ga., and Oklahoma City, GiANT exists to grow leaders and companies so their success might be used for significance throughout the world. More than 500,000 leaders are reached annually through the company's resources and events.
For more information about GiANT Experiences, click here.