Stephen Greene is the CEO of the international pro-social media company Rockcorps. As head of RockCorps, he has overseen the production of over 40 volunteer-exclusive concerts worldwide, featuring music artists such as Lady Gaga, Diddy and Rihanna. In 2012 the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, appointed Greene as Executive Chairman of the independent management body of the National Citizen Service.
The Essence of RockCorps | Music is very powerful in bringing people together. Our idea is to have this global celebration of volunteering through music. We’ve done it in eight countries so far.We focus on a youth audience, 14-25-year-olds, because that’s where the action is. That’s where the future is. We want to make civic engagement/volunteering as normal to a 19-year-old as going out to a club or sporting match, or being online.
Its Not Just About idea’s | A lot of people say RockCorps is a great idea, but we quickly add in that it is a good idea well executed. We’ve had a real focus on our operation. We have a real focus on results. I think that’s what helps a great idea manifest. It’s not enough to have a great idea; there are plenty of those, but, a relentless focus on operations and results.
My Definition Of Success | It’s just knowing that you’re in the job that you should be doing. And that is really what gives you energy. You don’t have any existential anxiety. When you find it, you know it because it’s very peaceful.
Best Advice | Talk to people that you don’t know. Step outside your comfort zone and meet a new network of people who are sitting right there and go outside your world and change. If we’re all connected wouldn’t that kind of be the end of a lot of the social issues we deal with?
Seeking Out Partnerships | My role is to seek out new and established relationships and to curate the existing partnerships. As much as there are great existing technology tools, when you’re asking a brand to partner with you on the level that we do, with this size of execution, you have to be there in person. They’re not just buying in to an idea; they’re buying into the people behind it. So if you want to be a global company now, it means being in a room of people, visiting them out there, meeting the NGOs you’re going to partner with, understanding how it’s going to work culturally in that local spot.
On Inspiring Others | Our pitch to our youth audience is, “You wanna help change the world? Well it takes less commitment than a one night stand.” That’s a very powerful piece of communication. If I can tell you that we have a way of getting a hundred people together and can make a real impact in the community, and all it takes is four hours… that’s a pretty powerful concept and we can unlock a lot of human potential that way.
What I Feed My Mind | A few years ago I made a very conscious decision to stop reading newspapers. I felt that everybody was reading the same thing and it wasn’t creating any unique insights. It wasn’t really driving forward any of my career activity or inspiration. And so by putting the newspaper down after the 30, 40 or 50 minutes you spend with it every day, and reading books instead, and really carefully selecting the books that you read, that was a big change for me, and it’s really helped my ability to think, analyse my perspectives, be it more interesting conversations I can have with other people, surrounding myself with different people because I have interesting things to contribute. Changing the things that I put into my head was very intentional.
Daily Actions And Habits | It’s a real intention to be able to maximize your life. It’s not something you change overnight. It’s a direction in which you move. Look at the people you surround yourself with, not just in your work, but also in your social life. Are they stimulating you, are you having conversations that inspire you? Find people who do inspire you, and spend more time there. Follow that positive energy.
My Catch Phrase For Life Is | “Have Fun.” That’s my filter through almost every decision-making process I make: is it still fun? If not, move along and get yourself to a better spot.
Watch a video about RockCorps in South Africa