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2014-03-20    来源:fortune    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

Fortune.com selects the most compelling short essays, anecdotes, and author interviews from "250 Words," a site developed by Simon & Schuster to explore the best new business books—wherever they may be published..
财富网(Fortune.com)定期从网站“250字”(250 Words)挑选最引人入胜的短文、趣闻轶事和作者访谈。美国西蒙与舒斯国际出版公司(Simon & Schuster)开发了网站,旨在探讨世界各地最新出版的商业佳作。

For this installment, 250 Words' Sam McNerney sits down with Adam Braun, the founder of Pencils of Promise, an award-winning nonprofit organization that has broken ground on more than 200 schools around the world. Braun is the author of the new book The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change, published this week by Scribner.
本期,“250字”的山姆•麦克纳尼将与亚当•布劳恩促膝而谈。亚当•布劳恩是足迹遍及全球200多所学校的非盈利机构“希望的铅笔”(Pencils of Promise)创始人。布劳恩的新书《希望的铅笔:普通人带来非凡改变》(The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change)于本周由Scribner出版社出版。

McNerney: In the beginning of The Promise of a Pencil you document some of your early travels around the world. In each country that you visited you asked one child, "If you could have anything in the world, what would you want most?" Tell us about the answer that became the impetus for PoP.

Braun: When I initially decided to travel around the world, my driving force was the desire to leave everything that I thought knew behind, opening myself fully to experience the different cultures in which I was going to come into contact with. I encountered a young boy begging in India, and he had such a simple and unexpected answer to my question. His reply was "a pencil," and it struck me in a way that I cannot explain. I decided then and there that offering children the opportunity of education would help them reach their potential far more than anything else that they could be given.

You took a job at Bain & Company after you graduated from college. Your time there contrasted with your life as an entrepreneur. What did you learn at Bain—in terms of skills and life lessons—that helped you develop PoP?
你大学毕业后曾在贝恩公司(Bain & Company)工作。那段时间的经历与你作为创业者的生活格格不入。你从贝恩学到了哪些技能或者人生经验,帮你发展“希望的铅笔?”

My time at Bain & Company taught me how great companies operate and the value of culture. I honed my skills in those areas and applied them to building a successful company aimed at making a difference in the world.

I enjoyed reading about one of PoP early contributors, Chelsea Canada. Could you tell the story about how you met her and how she embodied the growth PoP experienced early on?

Chelsea Canada is the perfect example of how powerful of an impact one person can make. I met Chelsea at the first college speech I ever gave about PoP. Even though she was the only student to show up, her passion and interest in what PoP was doing started a ripple effect that made a profound long-term impact. It goes to show you just how much of a difference one person can make when they are invested in what they are doing.

One of my favorite parts of the book documents a brief exchange you had with a businessman who referred to PoP as a "project." Tell us what you learned from that episode and why the label "nonprofit" is a misnomer.

I learned the power of language to craft perceptions of the world around us. By labeling ourselves with a term like "nonprofit," we take the strength away from our work and instead focus on what we don't do rather than what we actually are doing. I decided to advocate for calling mission-driven organizations "for-purpose" regardless of tax status, and fortunately it's really caught on.

Social media played an important role for PoP -- from the lucrative Chase Community Giving campaign to 17-year-old Kennedy Donnelly's bike trip across America to raise money for PoP. Looking back, how do you think social media helped PoP?

One of the biggest challenges that you face when starting a new venture is gaining exposure. I knew that there was an astounding number of people across the globe that would want to be part of what PoP was doing, we just had to find them. Social media offers a quick way to reach a large amount of people. In short, social media has helped us spread the word about PoP, attracting passionate people with the power to spread our influence.

I sense that music plays an important role in your business and personal life. You write about listening to the Rolling Stones and the Raconteurs in Southeast Asia, encouraging your employees to include their playlists in their email signatures. Near the end of the book, you recount a charming moment when you danced with kids in Ghana. What's the relationship between music, you, and PoP?
我感觉在你的商业和个人生活中,音乐都有重要的地位。你写到在东南亚听滚石乐队(Rolling Stones)和The Raconteurs乐队的音乐,还鼓励员工在电子邮件签名中添加他们的音乐。在书的结尾部分,你回忆了在加纳和孩子们一起跳舞的有趣场景。音乐与你和“希望的铅笔”之间到底是一种什么关系?

Music is the universal language that we all speak and connect through, and it also has the ability to tap into an emotional center that words alone can rarely touch. I've been a big music fan my entire life, and it's helped catalyze and energize my days regardless of which country I'm in. I've always said that as long as I have a journal to write in and headphones in my ears, I'll be a happy man.

Let's say I'm in an office right now. I'm terribly bored and unsatisfied with my work. I make a good salary and I'm a hard-working employee, but something is missing. Do you have any advice for me?

Find that which speaks to you. Ask yourself "what makes me feel an undeniable, burning desire?" Discovering the answer to this question empowers you then to ask yourself the next question of "how can I use this passion to make a difference?" Then follow the 30 guiding steps that title each chapter of The Promise of a Pencil, and you'll live your way into the story you want your life to tell.

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