On the days I’m smashed up against an assortment of characters on the New York City subway, I sometimes play a game.
I imagine someone yelling, “What’s your problem?!” It’s a question I’ve heard in this situation plenty of times before but instead of causing a kerfuffle, I picture a different reaction: An elderly gentleman across the aisle uses his cane to stand up and proudly declares, “I’ve dedicated my life to addressing poverty.” A young woman raises her hand, clears her throat, and announces, “I care about gender inequality.” A teenager pulls out his ear buds and says, “My problem is racial profiling.” Soon, everyone around me has announced a problem that they are personally dedicated to.
The world would look drastically different if we spent more time identifying a problem to own, rather than fighting for more space, more time, or more money in our own little part of the world.
At Echoing Green, a nonprofit organization that supports young people to dedicate their lives to improving the world, we’ve learned that if you want to make a difference, you need to own a problem. You must make it yours to solve.
There are three steps to doing this...
Continue reading on Harvard Business Review Blog, and tell us what problem you are driven to tackle.