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The Question-Authority Contemplation

Change happens! Frustration can follow elation or calm. We are embodied and grounded – yet sometimes confused. “Fake news”… hyperbole … polarization … exhaustion. Time passes while change remains. Stress magnifies our extremes of division.

Yet, wisdom awakens, resetting perspective. In lucid moments of wise discernment, one feels relieved and blessed, privately.

If we are fortunate, we live through pandemic times. Optimistically or pessimistically, we gird our loins and brace for impact. It’s a good time for the “question-authority” contemplation.

I have a few observations to help you, regardless of your religion or politics.

Some Helpful Recommendations

  • Goodness and mercy flow from a far higher authority and remain unaltered. The story of the Good Samaritan has value for eternity.
  • No economic system yields more brilliant and profitable insights than capitalism when it consciously embraces human potential.
  • The benefits of capitalism decline drastically with sociopathic authority. The sociopath is wholely concerned with their personal gain, without regard for the cost to anyone else. That represents an authority that is the antithesis of authentic leadership.
  • Avoid becoming entangled in politics or politicians of any stripe. If they are not all about public service, pass them by, then peacefully replace them.
  • When politicians who are not scientists ignore science repeatedly, arrogantly, or stubbornly at risk to public safety, peacefully 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! Contribute to deepening the brilliance of leadership at every level.
  • When business leaders “get” that ethics and heart are foundational to prosperous economics, innovation, and endless opportunity, they choose to shape a brilliant culture that yields humane and cutting-edge products, processes, and services for the benefit of all stakeholders. Many are capable of this; some are doing it now. You can do it now.
  • Respect your Self; respect the lessons of 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 self-absorbed boss. It’s a myth that you cannot find a better place to work – a popular myth that enables greed, abuse, and nonsense.
  • Actualize the optimistic wisdom of anthropologist Margaret 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. That will be your best leadership training room for the foreseeable future. Give it your all! Recognize: a worthy mission facilitates alignment, and a well-aligned culture is the ultimate performance engine at the end of the day.
  • After honestly trying, if you cannot change your workplace culture, 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 power merits it unless they demonstrate they do. The significant 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 kindness and respect benefiting all stakeholders.

Live into the question-authority contemplation. Trust your wit and wisdom. Keep your own counsel and improve upon it daily, recalling Mead’s research finding that, “Laughter is man’s most distinctive emotional expression.” Ultimately, grow to become a wisely discerning adult who merits one’s own counsel. And yes, be deeply skeptical of anyone in authority who actually believes they are above learning, or beyond question.