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 edited by the great J Scott Donnell

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