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Can't Not Do: The Compelling Social Drive that Changes Our World

Book Description

With so many social challenges facing our world, trying to effect change feels daunting. The problems are complex, the politics murky, and the players innumerable. Yet, every day there are regular heroes making a significant impact on our most intractable social issues.

"Can't Not Do" is a catchphrase for the urge that captures the heart of effective social change agents—explaining, in their own words, their passion and drive: "I can't not do this." "It's not that I can do this, it's that I can't not." "I could not imagine not doing something about this issue." The surprising truth from the trenches is: we already have numerous proven solutions for our many social challenges; what our world needs most, and what most changes our children's future, are more people prepared and committed to act on their social impulses for the long haul. Innovation helps. Money helps, too. But greater numbers of committed people help the most.

If you feel an internal, persistent call to do more for the world, Can't Not Do will help you to bridge the gap between "wanting to do" and "doing"—to access the drive of an effective change agent, to break through self-imposed barriers, to learn key principles for success, and to start seeing yourself acting as a change agent.

There is no "secret sauce" someone is born with and no special club needed to be successful at social change. Rather, successful change agents share some fundamental orientations to the world and to their committed cause and, over time, learn certain lessons that help them become more effective. These lessons are reflected in Can't Not Do in seven seemingly simple questions that provide guideposts and unlock the reader's potential to make a difference for a social cause they care about.

This isn't a self-help book. It's an inspiring narrative intertwined with a "street-readiness" dialogue, between the author and you, between you and your inner aspirations. These are authentic success stories, vital questions, and unconventional answers that can guide and inspire you to realize your greatest potential.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. Prologue: The Power of Can't Not Do
    1. Can't Not Do—The Social Drive That Changes the World
    2. Trees and Labs
    3. The World Does Not Lack Solutions
    4. Seven Questions That Unleash Potential
    5. The Undeniable Question
    6. A Little about SVP and Me
    7. How to Use This Book
  6. Introduction: Why Our Social Drives Matter More Now—Multipliers
    1. We Face a Pivotal Moment, a Tipping Point of Multipliers
    2. The Connected Passion of Anne Reece, Multiplied
    3. We've Seen This Movie in a Different Town
    4. How Pins Stuck in a Map on the Wall Can Reduce Crime
    5. The Bottom Line
  7. Part I: Finding Your Focus
    1. Chapter 1: David Risher, the Lost Key, and Eradicating Illiteracy
      1. What's the Point?
      2. Haven't Had That “Aha” Moment?
      3. This Work Does Not Have to Be an Epic Endeavor
      4. So What's Mine?
      5. Optimism + Determination
      6. = Grit
    2. Chapter 2: Lisa Chin Is Not Doing This to Be Happy
      1. What's the Point?
      2. A Cause Connected to Your Core for Someone Else
      3. The Right Time and Place
      4. Putting Optimism to Work: 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 10
    3. Chapter 3: Eleuthera Lisch, Stepping Out from Behind the Fourth Wall
      1. What's the Point?
      2. Some Hard Places Aren't Places
      3. What If You Have to Leave a Hard Place?
      4. Failure Never Feels Good to Anyone, Including Me
      5. Finding Meaning in a Hard Place
  8. Part II: How You Do This Work Well
    1. Chapter 4: Jeff Tollefson, Losing It All and Becoming Richer
      1. What's the Point?
      2. Power (and Humility?) in Philanthropy
      3. Humility Has Power
      4. Your Mindset
      5. Level 5 Leaders and Humility
      6. My Own Lesson in Humility
      7. Even the Great Are Humbled
    2. Chapter 5: Lori, I Got Married a Little Too Early to the Right Woman
      1. Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
      2. What's the Point?
      3. Levels of Listening, Where Are You?
      4. You Hear Interesting Things When You Listen
    3. Chapter 6: Suzi Levine, Learning When Not to Raise Her Hand
      1. What's the Point?
      2. 1 + 1 = 3 with Connectors
      3. Learning to Connect
      4. Pacing the Floor Like an Expectant Father
      5. Director or Connector?
  9. Part III: Bringing It All Together for Your World and You
    1. Chapter 7: Heidi Breeze-Harris, a Sick Pregnant Lady with an Idea
      1. What's the Point?
      2. A Different Kind of Career Dedicated to Can't Not Do
      3. Can't Not Do for Others
      4. Can't Not Do Takes Time, a Long Time
      5. What Is It in Your Life That You Can't Not Do?
    2. Chapter 8: Why Your Social Drives Matter More Now
      1. The Equation
      2. What's Possible
  10. Conclusion: Surrendering to the Intention
    1. A Meaningful versus a Happy Life
    2. Start the Journey
    3. My Family, Where It All Starts…and Ends
  11. Appendix Introduction
  12. Appendix 1: 20 Questions for a Personal ChecklistFinding Your Focus
    1. What Are You a Determined Optimist About?
    2. Who Are You at Your Core?
    3. What Are You Willing to Go through Hard Places For?
  13. Appendix 2: 20 Suggestions for a Personal ChecklistHow You Do This Work Well
    1. Humility
    2. Listening
    3. Connecting
  14. Appendix 3: Which Stories Fit You Best?
  15. Appendix 4: Additional Resources for Getting StartedSVP Stuff, Books, Websites, and Blogs
    1. SVP Stuff
    2. Books
    3. Websites
    4. Blogs
  16. Appendix 5: Chapter-by-Chapter Summary
    1. Prologue: The Power of Can't Not Do
    2. Introduction: Why Our Social Drives Matter More Now—The Multipliers
    3. Chapter 1 David Risher, the Lost Key and Eradicating Illiteracy: Are You a Determined Optimist?
    4. Chapter 2 Lisa Chin Is Not Doing This to Be Happy: Who Are You at Your Core?
    5. Chapter 3 Eleuthera Lisch, Stepping Out from behind the Fourth Wall: Are You Willing to Go to Hard Places?
    6. Chapter 4 Jeff Tollefson, Losing It All and Becoming Richer: Are You Ready to Be Humble and Humbled?
    7. Chapter 5 Lori, I Got Married a Little too Early to the Right Woman: Can You Actively Listen?
    8. Chapter 6 Suzi Levine, Learning When Not to Raise Her Hand: Do You Believe 1 + 1 = 3?
    9. Chapter 7 Heidi Breeze-Harris, a Sick Pregnant Lady with an Idea: What Is Your Can't Not Do?
    10. Chapter 8 Why Our Social Drives Matter More Now: The Equation
    11. Conclusion: Surrendering to the Intention
  17. About the Author
  18. Acknowledgments
  19. Index
  20. End User License Agreement