As you’ve read before, I believe we live into the stories we tell ourselves. For those of us still in the workforce leadership periodically makes some startling decisions. This week’s newsletter takes a look at a book, The Capitalist Philosophers, that might make some sense of those otherwise unfathomable course changes.
BTW, congratulations to Jennifer Einolf who was featured in last week’s newsletter. She advanced in the Toastmasters International Speech Contest this past Saturday and will compete at the next level here in Richmond on April 6th.
Remember: You Matter. Your Stories Matter. Tell Them Well!
The Storytellers Channel
The Search for Balance
I am an avid reader. For 25 years I was a business consultant and I felt I was running a never ending marathon on a treadmill in search of wisdom.
The story I told myself then and if I’m being truly candid, the one I still tell myself before I go to sleep is Someone out there is trying to make me obsolete.
In my relentless search for wisdom and relevance I discovered The Capitalist Philosophers. It details a fascinating insight into 20th Century business leadership thought.
Two perspectives are at war in most organizations. Impersonal management by the numbers versus a humanist approach. By looking at the writings of each decade The Capitalist Philosophers unveiled a trend.
Whenever the “by-the-numbers” approach prevailed all of the writing was about the personal approach, and when the humanist approach prevailed the writings were about getting back to a more disciplined management by-the numbers.
As much as my engineer brain loves the clarity of numerical measurements, business is a human endeavor. As much as I would like my business to be a well-oiled machine because it’s staffed by people the garden metaphor with all its incumbent messiness offers a more accurate model.
Can we achieve balance?
The Gallop people’s research shows followers want four things from their leaders:
It’s possible we can develop objective, numerical means of measuring these states of being, but most likely they will continue to be subjective and that requires stories to make sense..
The stories we tell ourselves and each other offer a bridge for this gap. In the essential dictum of improvisation it’s not Either/Or, but Yes/And.
Numbers provide breadcrumbs for us to follow, but to make sense, to provide direction they must be translated into story. And from those stories we the people discern our roles and our responsibilities tending the garden.
Regardless of your role in the workforce I think you will find The Capitalist Philosophers an enlightening read. I did.
Tales of Deadly Matrimony
Edgar Allan Poe
I Want to Hear from You
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what storytelling topics you’d like me to explore.
Til next time,