This fall I have been invited to post regular monthly columns with Management – Issues one of the top business and leadership sites on the web with a readership of over 70,000 mid and senior level leaders worldwide. The columns will expand on themes from my most book; The Soul of Place: Re-imagining Leadership Through Nature, Art and Community.
In addition to my regular comments I will feature excerpts from these columns as they are posted with links to the Management- Issues site.
I hope you enjoy them!
Business: The Enterprise of Humanity
Business isn’t an exercise in numbers, it is an enterprise of humanity that is an inalienable part of life. So if we focus on taking care of the people in our enterprise and harness our intuitive capacity to co-create together, business will take care of itself.
Several years ago I read an interview with award winning broadcast journalist Bill Moyers and CEO and poet James Autry. Autry was among thirty-four poets that Moyers was interviewing as part of a PBS Series on The Language of Life through exploring commentaries on poets and poetry.
During the interview Moyers seemed puzzled as he tried to understand how Autry could cross over from celebrating his poetry at public festivals to reading it to his supervisors and staff in the competitive – and often tough- minded – world of the publishing business.
To which Autry replied; “ Its crucially important for business people to feel that what they’re doing in business is life. There is only life and business is part of that.” Autry replied.
Business is ‘an enterprise of humanity’ he added and art gives leaders permission to express a range of human emotions including pain, sorrow, fear and joy that they may not feel otherwise. Business is people and when we focus on the taking care of the feeling life and the humanity in the people in the enterprise, business will take care of itself.
In this context even the language of teams and teamwork may inadvertently conjure up many associations with the competitive language of battle and sports and so subliminally affected how we do business. In its place we may look toward the language of neighborhood, to fellowship and to being in community together.