Jim Collins commented on several aspects of the book edited by Mark Vamos and David Lidsky entitled, “Fast Company’s Greatest Hits: Ten Years of the Most Innovative Ideas in Business”. Business has morphed and mutated into a different species in the last two decades. Many remember the Dot Com Bubble swelling to a plump balloon and bursting, heaving from mega-fortune to misfortune in many months. Collins draws some conclusions about this edited compendium of articles and I shall discuss these and interact with some of my own thoughts.
Premise No. 1: Work is not a means to and end; it is an end in itself.
Do we measure our worth of ourselves and our job role in terms of our annual income, or our amassed fortunes? If so, then we are on tenuous ground; these are fleeting and their ultimate realization is banality at their end. By their definition, money and wealth are physical commodities. They are tangible, can be used for many different means and ends of industry whether the aims are good or bad. When our work is thought of in the bounds of these elements of economy, then our focus is misplaced and on the wrong aspect of life. If our work can be broken down to segments of industry e.g., a paper for a pair of shoes, a prepared work proposal for a vacation get-away, etc the, wow! If this is our measured end, then we are essentially robbing ourselves of the essential sap of our industry-lives. There is no impeccability here.
However, when we realize that our work is spiritual, we reframe our outcomes and realize that we are part of something much bigger than “me” and vying for food, clothing and shelter. We discover the Divine in our daily activity and this is transformative and connects us to the world. When we discover how we personally can add value to people, can change their lives with the products or services that we sell, or we help them achieve a dream or a goal we really reflect the spiritual and not the physical. When we realize these spiritual rewards we are genuinely reflexive of the work of God. Unlike a physical investment which may dry up with the faddish winds of the day, spiritual deposits of value or help or investment in lives are eternal. When we discover that our work is an end, that it is an integrative part of our entire life, it’s interwoven into a whole fabric of who we are, we the rest each eve with contentment.
How do you define your work? Are you given to breaking it down into daily commodities? Can you identify the ways in which you bring value to each customer or client? Can you see the spiritual part of your work? I encourage you to dig deeply into the focus of your business and root out the value propositions and examine ways that you spiritually can make the shift.
More to Come.