Change happens! I’m older and feel younger. Embodied, or helium. Apprehensive, now elated. Fake news?! Fist pounding! Definitive hyperbole!!! Head scratching? Time passes.
We’ve lived through a tumultuous year. Optimistically or pessimistically, we gird our loins and brace for impact. It is a good time for the question-authority contemplation.
So, I have a few observations to help you, regardless of your religion or politics.
- Goodness and mercy remain unaltered. The story of the Good Samaritan has value for eternity.
- No economic system yields more brilliant and profitable insights, than capitalism that consciously embraces the human potential.
- Avoid becoming enmeshed in politics or politicians of any stripe. If they are not all about public service, pass them by, then replace them.
- If there has ever been a prime opportunity (or desperate need) for capitalism to find its heart (and essential sanity), it’s now. This requires deepening the brilliance of leadership, at every level.
- Once business leaders “get” that ethics and heart are foundational to both bountiful finance and ongoing opportunity, they will choose to shape a brilliant culture that yields humane and cutting edge products and services for everyone’s benefit. Many are capable of this; some are doing it now.
- Respect your Self; respect your Life. The inspiration, happiness, and value you derive from work is your responsibility. There is no reason to work in a stupid culture for a cold-hearted boss. It’s a myth that you cannot find a better place to work – a popular myth that enables “leadership” greed, abuse and stupidity.
- Actualize the wisdom of anthropologist Margarete Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
- The first thing to do if you find yourself proximate to dumb leadership is staying and working mindfully to change the culture in your sphere of influence. This will be your best leadership training room for the foreseeable future. Give it your all! Recognize: a worthy mission facilitates alignment, and culture is the performance engine at the end of the day.
- After truly trying, if you cannot succeed in changing the culture where you work, take your lessons and leave! By then you will be an expert about the elements of brilliant workplace culture, and you will have two choices: (1) find a workplace with a culture that is fit for your aspirations, or (2) create a business with a brilliant culture that you can inspire daily.
- Always, question authority. Never presume that the person with nominal authority merits it unless they clearly demonstrate they do. The great progress to be made in any market will occur by (a) collaborating with trustworthy leaders at every level, and by (b) hard work in the spirit of kind respect benefiting all stakeholders.
- Trust your wit and wisdom. Keep your own counsel and improve upon it daily, recalling Margaret Mead’s research finding that, “Laughter is man’s most distinctive emotional expression.” [Have you heard Julie Roberts’ lyric, “men and mascara always run.”]
Give yourself authority. In the long run, it’s ridiculous to blame your boss (or your politician) for your unhappiness. Get to it. It’s your new year!
Leadership wisdom, health, and happiness to you and yours!