The courage to sing “Amazing Grace”
I want to talk about business things, honestly I am trying. But my mind and heart keep going back to the events in Baltimore and wanting to DO SOMETHING to help our nation be more respectful–from cities to farms to forests; with other people, and even our buildings.
I am grateful to Karin Hurt for raising the question on her blog because she gave me hope that from 380 miles away, and a lifestyle gap that is even longer, I can possibly have some impact, and not sit here in my office feeling powerless.
The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.
~ Albert Einstein
I am left handed, and I love it. I think that the benefits of being different outweigh the downsides–like being frustrated with scissors and bumping elbows at the dinner table. Though it was many decades ago, I still remember vividly the first time I liked the idea of being different in a left-handed way*.
Perhaps that realization has flavored my life, or perhaps I am just weird. Whatever the reason, I like to try to do things differently. In the last few days a number of examples have come my way, so I knew it was time to share about this important topic.
The best definition of company culture I have heard is “culture is how we get things done.”
This definition takes a noun that is often viewed as soft in the corporate world and turns it into action–the ultimate action of not just doing things, but “getting them done.”
I heard this phrase in an insightful exchange with Ric Pratte*, CEO and co-founder of AlignRevenue, a start-up which helps sales teams create collaborative conversations that are much more effective, and also take the place of boring sales presentations. I asked Ric for an interview after hearing him talk about his company in a way that demonstrated he wants to create a workplace where people can be themselves, fully.
I started our conversation by asking Ric how he came to believe that a supportive workplace is important to the success of an organization. He replied that he has heard CEOs talk about “people being the most important asset”, then act disrespectfully with their teams and treat them like machines, not human beings.
He wants to do it differently. I think he is.
I almost always feel like I am chasing the bus. It’s a proverbial bus. It means that I rarely feel like I am caught up on all the stuff I gotta do. Even though it’s proverbial, at times I feel as though I am covered in soot from the exhaust and weighed down by the effort.
However I have been lessening my feeling of racing against the bus (and loosing) and here’s how. A few years ago I realized that I am the one creating my to-do list most of the time. This means that the gigantic size of the bus (my to-do list) and it’s power to pull away from me (my feelings of inadequacy) were of my own devising.
You might find yourself wondering why I chose the word Joyful to talk about my goals for our work. Why not happy, joyous, ecstatic, peaceful, productive, successful, or others?
I chose Joyful because to me it connotes a deeper sense of self than those other words.
Joyful is happy plus peaceful.
This is one of the hardest newsletters I have ever written. My goal every week is to entertain, possibly educate, and perhaps open our eyes a bit wider. But it’s time to do it differently.
You see, I have something to sell, my book “Creating Joyful Work.” And even though most people have told me they resonate with the message and really like the book, the idea of putting it out there and asking you to listen to me talk about it is really daunting.
I am afraid that you will not like it if I try to sell you stuff.