When most companies hire, they do so reactionarily, focusing on a needs-based approach alone. A job needs to be performed, and therefore, the company needs to find someone who can do the work.
However, what if companies took a step back to think not simply about how others can provide them with solutions to their needs, but how they can, in turn, give back and help meet the needs of others?
Last week on Hire Power Radio Show, Gui Mendes and Mason Monsevais of the Art of Jiu Jitsu Academy (AOJ) joined us to discuss the power of giving back and how doing so through the Believe & Achieve Program has benefited their organization.
Art of Jiu Jitsu Academy was founded in July of 2012 as a collaborative effort between the Mendes Bros & PM Tenore to spread the jiu jitsu lifestyle and make a positive impact in the world. The vision for the academy was to offer world class instruction in a traditional yet stylish environment that focused solely on Jiu Jitsu instead of following the popular trend of being a MMA school.
The Believe & Achieve Program, through AOJ, is a program that provides opportunities for athletes, who may not have otherwise had the chance, to take their jiu jitsu training to the next level, receive AOJ mentorship, and leverage their careers.
Here is what we discussed with Gui Mendes and Mason Monsevais on Hire Power Radio Show:
Giving back is mutually beneficial in any business or organization. Aside from the personal satisfaction that can arise when you know you have helped shape or change someone’s life, giving back also can be a unique differentiator for your firm. Why? Giving back gives your company a why, and provides depth to your mission and vision, as well as build your organization’s legacy through a meaningful greater purpose. For organizations which emphasize achievement and competition, such as the Art of Jiu Jitsu Academy, philanthropy also provides a productive outlet to channel this intensity for good.
In addition to adding another layer to the depth of your company’s work, giving back can also provide more visibility to your organization externally.
When you go out of your way to help someone, people recognize that and respect it, and thus, will be attracted to the unique opportunities you provide. How you give back speaks volumes about your company’s culture and core philosophy.
Another added benefit of giving back is the fact that doing so can challenge your company to bridge competition in a healthy way.
Rather than simply seeing other companies in your industry as rivals, philanthropy gives both company’s a chance to connect, and come together. By working together and sharing resources and connections, both companies can take their capabilities to the next level and receive recognition within the collaboration.
So, how can your company get started? Developing and implementing a program to give back is different for every company, depending on industry, size, resources, etc. However, regardless of these factors, there is always a way to give. Don’t be afraid to start small. Even if you start by impacting only one or two individuals through your work, the fact that you are taking visible action will make people curious and want to get involved. From there, your project will grow as people take notice. You don’t have to do anything crazy to begin impacting people.
Gui Mendes and his brother Rafael grew up in Brazil, training in jiu jitsu. However, with the limited resources to expand their jiu jitsu careers in Brazil, their ultimate dream was to move somewhere where they could have more opportunities to success and show their capabilities.
The brothers first came to the United States in 2007 to compete in Worlds - which they ended up winning. The journey to Worlds was not a simple process, Gui said, as the brothers struggled to get visas and raise the necessary money for travel, competition fees, etc.
After witnessing the Mendes Brothers’ exceptional work ethic and success at the competition, Rvca founder Pat Tenore approached the brothers and decided that, if they kept up their high caliber of work and dedication, he would support them by helping them move to the United States and open a jiu jitsu academy - now AOJ.
Gui said that it was this life-changing experience that inspired him and his brother to provide opportunities for other talented jiu jitsu athletes to achieve their potential, as people did for them. They “created the Believe & Achieve program to give young dedicated athletes the same opportunity” to experience
People are generally attracted to, and have more respect for, people and companies that give back. Philanthropy not only impacts the people you are giving to, but also helps build your company’s brand as a whole.
No one gets anywhere alone. Reflect on how you got to where you are today, and who helped you along the way. Just as those before you helped provide a foundation for you to succeed, you can provide a stepping stone to someone else’s future.
Even with just a small action, you can make a big difference in someone’s life. Measure your success not by how “big” of an impact you were able to make, but rather, by whether or not you did what you COULD to reach out.
Reflect on what you want to give, why you want to give it, and ultimately, how you will go about doing so.
When deciding how to give back, consider your company’s industry, expertise, and capabilities. Give a piece of something your company already sells/provides to customers, in a new way, and leverage your relationships and connections to help make your vision a reality.
About our guests:
Gui Mendes is a 4x black belt world champion originally from Rio Claro, Brazil. Moved to Costa Mesa, California in 2012 to open up the Art of Jiu Jitsu Academy with his brother Rafael and RVCA founder PM Tenore. Created the Believe & Achieve Program in 2015 as a way to give back and help support young athletes in Brazil.
Mason Monsevais moved to Costa Mesa, California in 2012 when the academy opened as a white belt after meeting the Mendes Bros two months before. Trained all day for the first few years, receiving all his belts (white - brown) from the Mendes Bros. He has won major tournaments at all belt levels but stopped focusing on his own competition when they started the Believe & Achieve Program.
To learn more about Gui Mendes, Mason Monsevais and the Art of Jiu Jitsu Academy (AOJ) visit www.artofjiujitsu.com/
About Rick Girard:
Rick Girard is the Managing Director and Founder of Stride Search, a boutique software talent search firm. While not running a School for Gifted Mutants, he hosts Hire Power and creates valuable content for Hiring Managers and Job Seekers alike to elevate industry standards of exclusive professional search