- Standard of Business
- Producing Real Value
- The Harming of Others
- Directed Passion and Hard Work
- The Handshake
- Misdirection and Deception
- Partnerships of Trust
- Amorality of Money
- Money: A Means, Not an End
- The Great Liege Lord: Greed
- Human Relationships, Not Numbers
- Losing with Honor
- The Trap of Zero-Sum Thinking
- Align or Die!
- Creating Shared Stakeholder Value
- Capitalism: The Powers of Good and Evil
- Guarding Growth
Mother Teresa spent her life laboring for the poor and seeking to alleviate not only the poor’s lack of bread, but also the lack of love she often found there. To many, her task seemed so insurmountable that some would ask why she even attempted it. There was so much pain and suffering in the world; she could not hope to alleviate it all.
She had a simple reply.
We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.
She had managed to move beyond seeing the world of statistics and numbers and instead focused solely on the individuals. That she could handle, and within that sphere of influence she could make a difference.
I think one of the problems we have in business is that we’ve afforded companies and organizations status as a legal entity. Now, that’s not a problem in its own right, but it becomes problematic when we then move on to say they are amoral entities, forgetting companies and organizations are, in fact, made of humans who are anything but amoral.
This artificial legal shield empowers leaders within these companies and organizations to believe their own actions are therefore amoral, as well, if they are acting for the benefit of the company.
How mistaken they are.
It’s from this dark place the phrase “It’s only business” gets its power. This is an attempted justification or excusal of responsibility for decisions or actions with moral or ethical consequences by invoking the law-given amorality of the corporate or organizational entity. In other words, because the company is amoral, my actions within it become amoral by association.
What’s being forgotten here is that every aspect of business is built upon human relationships. There are the relationships between:
- the customer and sales staff
- boss and employee
- supplier and purchaser
- and so on…
In many ways, this is what has given rise to the old saying “it’s not what you know, but who you know.” That only works because truly it is about the human relationship.
- A game to be bet upon. You win some, you lose some, but there aren’t really any consequences other than money, which is used to keep score.
- A machine with inputs and outputs only. You put in raw materials and people, and you get something out the other end.
- War. You are out to destroy your competitors.
He says these are all wrong approaches because “business is about the real lives of real people.” He pushes for creating cultures of love and caring that will not only benefit the employees, but also will extend to customers and everyone else with whom the company comes in contact.
Here’s the keynote in full. I know it’s a little long, but I strongly suggest taking the time to listen to it. It is well worth the invested time.
Let us each consider how we can make human relationships the center of what we do instead of the numbers. Don’t get me wrong, numbers are important, and should be used and consulted constantly. However, people are not numbers.
I am not a number!
[Business] is one of the most human things we do because it engages us in so many ways.
~ Raj Sisodia
Images courtesy of:
- Mother Teresa – © 1986 Túrelio (via Wikimedia-Commons), 1986 / Lizenz: Creative Commons CC-BY-SA-2.0 de
- NodeXL Twitter Network Graphs: CHI2010 – Marc Smith – Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
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