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“Be yourself.” With Candice Georgiadis & Maiden Manzanal-Frank

Be yourself. Promote the causes that you are personally and professionally aligned with so that it is not hard work but part of your lifestyle, values, and mores as a person. Whatever you do after that is pleasurable and never about public accolades or recognition but being somebody that can contribute to the common good. […]

Be yourself. Promote the causes that you are personally and professionally aligned with so that it is not hard work but part of your lifestyle, values, and mores as a person. Whatever you do after that is pleasurable and never about public accolades or recognition but being somebody that can contribute to the common good.

As a part of my series about people who are using their platform to make a significant social impact, I had the pleasure of interviewing Maiden Manzanal-Frank. Known as the Strategy Maven, Maiden Manzanal-Frank is an international organizational development expert based out Alberta, Canada that helps organizations achieve their impacts at the local, national, and international levels. She consults, writes, speaks, and engages others in accelerating business growth, promoting social innovation, and amplifying their impacts.


Thank you so much for doing this with us Maiden! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Iworked in international development for almost a decade with considerable international experience working on global projects in 14 countries, including a consulting assignment with the United Nations. I had the privilege and access to the many disciplines that I weaved together to create a tapestry of unique value for organizations that I worked with. My background in social sciences, international politics and development, social economy, public policy and advocacy, and grassroots organizing have profound impact in my development as a career professional and have led me to believe that social impacts can be created not just by those who are steeped in development paradigms but have extraordinary passion to create a better society or community.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began this career?

People asked me how I started with my business and I always say that it happened a few years ago when I was contemplating the possibility of forging my own path vis-à-vis following the traditional model of 8–5 jobs in the corporate or government sector. It wasn’t those ‘light-bulb moments’ but more of the slow, steady realization of the power of commitment to take the next albeit ambiguous step forward. I never looked back since.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I made a lot of mistakes along the way, perfecting my craft, learning from those who had been successful, and learning from all around me in terms of trends, movements, and seismic shifts in many places that could provide inspiration and solutions to my clients. Success, never perfection.

Ok super. Let’s now jump to the core focus of our interview. Can you describe to our readers how you are using your platform to make a significant social impact?

As a global strategist working on impact, social media influencers can definitely use their current platform to speak to a certain cause or support social issues that will benefit the society in profound ways. I have told a lot of influencers to use their voice, talent, and connections that just their social media clout to clarify specific issues, advocate for good causes and increase public attention including the policymakers for underserviced populations needing special needs for government action. I also caution them to pick the right cause that resonates with them as a professional, individual, and as part of a community or network aligned with their own values and interests.

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted by your work?

In my community, social media practitioners amplify the causes that are supported by the United Way. This partnership increases the public’s focus on the benefits of giving, raises the profile of the charitable organization, and, most importantly, engages the public to become more aware of the ‘unignorable’ issues that beset our community.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do help you address the root of the problems you are trying to address?

The community should have a collaborative approach to problem-solving. It should nurture the assets that already exist in the community and not look for ‘the angel investor’ or the ‘enlightened politician’ that will save them from their miseries. Stopping the victim mentality is very important.

The community should look for great examples of things that work. A best practice is seldom a one-size-fits-all. The best “best practices” are found locally, from individuals in the community who champions the cause or are already involved in the community. Developing leaders and honoring those who are leading the way for others have to be taken seriously. Third, the root cause of some of the issues in the community is hard to diagnose. It will need social innovation, to map out the systems which it operates and create the linkages that are important to be able to find the right solutions and the right actors to make it work. Decades-long problems take time to be rooted out because people had come to live with it rather than addressing it earlier when it started.

What specific strategies have you been using to promote and advance this cause? Can you recommend any good tips for people who want to follow your lead and use their social platform for a social good?

Be yourself. Promote the causes that you are personally and professionally aligned with so that it is not hard work but part of your lifestyle, values, and mores as a person. Whatever you do after that is pleasurable and never about public accolades or recognition but being somebody that can contribute to the common good.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

I would tell university students to start building themselves and knowing who they are before they can help the world or their community. “You don’t have to go to Afghanistan and do great things. I know people who do regularly but that is not for everyone. You can do something here locally that with a global impact.”

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would like that social innovation will have more linkages with corporate innovation. That would be exciting to see. The divide between corporate social good and the social development good is artificial, and we need to see future synergies developing that will address some of the most intractable global issues we are facing.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

There is no shortcut to success.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Not right now.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Please follow me at Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook or get more resources at my website: www.globalstakesconsulting.com

This was very meaningful, thank you so much!

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