Gingras Global Magazine Fall 2017 - Page 56

Motown Rising Wins Gingras Global Award

GG: What does enhancing or empowering vs. rescue mean to you?

Jacob: There is a big difference between empowering the people of your community and rescuing the people. The simplest and best way to put it is "give a man to fish, and he eats today, teach a man to fish and eats for a lifetime.” We are simply providing the opportunity, but at the end of the day, in order to learn anything, you need to work hard. That goes for anything in life. Rescuing would mean giving out a free lunch. We are not handing out anything, but the opportunity is there for people who want it.

GG: How do you avoid the ‘rescue' at Motown Rising and encourage the empowerment?

Jacob: We avoid the rescue by not giving any handouts. We work incredibly hard to keep our guys working and provide opportunities for them to continue learning and building skills. We hold our guys to the same standard—empowering them naturally by not accepting anything less and holding them accountable for the work they do. We encourage everyone to take pride in their workmanship.

GG: What do you see as an opportunity for change in Motown Rising?

Jacob: I believe that Motown Rising is creating a scalable model that can be adopted in other parts of the city along with other cities across the globe. Most businesses, particularly in real estate, are very bottom line driven. Don’t get me wrong, bottom line numbers are important guides to follow, but they are not our single motivating factor. We focus on continuing to grow the job opportunities, and training we're able to provide—the good we’re able to do—and the rest follows.