Episode 184: Scott Harrison – CEO of Charity Water “The Power of Storytelling”

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Episode 184: Scott Harrison – CEO of Charity Water “The Power of Storytelling”

Scott Harrison is the founder and CEO of charity : water. With virtually no experience outside of throwing parties, Scott founded Charity Water by charging $20 cover for his 31st birthday party. 10 years later, they’ve turned that $20 into $240 million, and brought clean water to 6.4 million people. 

Scott believes in: Radical Transparency, Technology & Innovation For Good, and The Power of Storytelling.

charity: water is a non profit organization that works to bring clean and safe water to people in developing nations. charity: water uses all public donations to directly fund water projects such as building wells and sanitation facilities. Since its founding, charity: water has established 25 local partnerships, funded approximately 17,673 projects in 24 countries and provided roughly 6.4 million people with clean water. charity: water tackles the water crisis by working with local experts and community members to find the best sustainable solution in each place where they work, whether it’s a well, a piped system, a BioSand filter, or a system for harvesting rainwater. And with every water point they fund, their partners coordinate sanitation and hygiene training, and establish a local Water Committee to help keep water flowing for years to come. The organization’s goal is to bring clean water to 100 million people by 2020.

Episode 184: Scott Harrison – CEO of Charity Water “The Power of Storytelling”

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The Learning Leader Show

“Human Beings Are Creatures Of Stories.”

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • Common themes to sustain excellence:
    • Why it’s vital that you first value excellence before sustaining it — Unfortunately not everyone values it
    • Then you must have integrity and generosity
  • The “ism’s” created at Charity Water
    • Design is vital in everything they do
    • They care deeply about details
    • There must be no typo’s
    • All PowerPoint presentations must be designed (no exceptions). Internal and external presentations are treated with equal importance
  • Always asking the question, “Was that excellent?”
  • What it means to be radically transparent
    • Telling and showing people exactly where their money is being spent (using GoPro’s to help tell this story)
  • Why Scott wanted to reinvent charity… How to build trust
  • Scott’s hiring process — The need for creative people that are likable and smart
    • Note: They had 500 people interview to be their receptionist
  • Using technology to improve donations (use of VR)
  • The power of story-telling
  • In hiring — “It’s either a Hell Yeah! or a No”
  • Favorite interview question — “What are the most important values you live by?”
    • He wants to know that they actually have values and have taken the time to think about what they are
    • Dan Pink – Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose
    • Scott will read their last 500 tweets to see if they are a happy person or if they are cynical and “hate” on others
  • Scott’s advice on giving and why we should do it

“What Are The Most Important Values You Live By?”

Continue Learning:

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Episode 179: How To Sustain Excellence – The Best Answers From 178 Questions

Episode 107: Simon Sinek – Leadership: It Starts With Why

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Episode edited by the great J Scott Donnell

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Comments 1

  1. Hello,
    I watched your video today and was greatly impressed by the contributions your organization is making. I occurred to me that at this point you might begin a project for the U.S. Agreed that the world’s people are more destitute for clean water than the U.S. However, water in the U.S. is seriously under attack…from the Keystone pipeline running over major aquifers, to Flint not having suitable water after 4 yrs., to fracking and opening wilderness areas to oil drilling. With the thousands of people already concerned, I would hope there would be a way to use that membership and concern toward what is happening in America as well. Please you and your team consider possibilities.
    Blessings and Best,
    jim foreman

    p.s and yes, my wife and I, though we are on a low fixed income, will probably become donors.

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