THIS IS THE PRINCIPLE: "The life-charged life requires that we put the principal to work."
Recently, I've enjoyed some really great conversations around the topic of corporate culture. Yes, I know, that sounds like a boring direction for dinner dialog, and seriously out-of-synch with this blog's unifying theme of "Life-Charged Life."
But it's not, you know; corporate dynamics are neither boring nor irrelevant to my thinking by a long shot.
In fact, if there is any area of North American culture that is ripe for the introduction of some life-charged principles, then it's the world of business and commerce.
Bottom line, if your motivation in business if to see things return "Back to normal," then you can't embrace any kind of a vision because all you're doing is looking in the rear view mirror. If that describes you, then the "MO" in your modus operandi stands for "missed opportunity!"
Good grief, America, isn't it time to grasp the fact that re-mounting "The horse we rode in on" is akin to sitting in the penthouse of your corporate HQ after a magnitude 8.0 earthquake all but toppled the structure, and holding onto your money tightly with both fists while waiting for the next series of after-shocks to finally reduce your future to a pile of rubble?
When what you really should be doing is erecting a brand-new structure.
FEAR: So we started out by talking about fear. Fear, as we all know, immobilizes. That's what the word petrified implies. Fear of failure leads to the sorry specter of corporate executives simply hanging on for dear life, stuffing their imagination in a sock and shoving it under the bed, forgetting that their lack of vision pretty much guarantees the negative result they can only avoid if they actually risk doing something.
NO NEED TO HIDE: There's a Bible parable that speaks to this (Matthew 25:14-30). Jesus told a story about a guy who buried his master's investment in the dirt. He did it because he was afraid, and so he could at least make sure the principal would remain intact. But most of all he did it because he didn't understand that the treasure wasn't so much the gold as what could be done with it.
The treasure wasn't so much the gold as what could be done with it...
What's interesting about this parable is the disturbing way it ends. The "master" is over-the-top angry, the punishment seems disproportionate to the event, and the story sometimes gets lost in the aftermath.
UNIVERSAL TRUTH: But I think it's a deliberate story-telling ploy by the Great Teacher. Nothing pushes God's buttons like the crime of squandered opportunity. Seriously, folks - and you have to understand this even if faith and religion and suchlike mean nothing to you at all - the characteristic that makes us the most alive as human-beings is our creativity.
No matter how you slice it, life without engaging creativity and passion is no life at all.
And one of the last places we need to put our passion on hold is the workplace.
America didn't get to be America by its people getting off the boat and then burying their gold in the dirt because they were afraid of loss. The loss occurs the moment the talent is buried - because (and Jesus was all about this principle) the greatest loss is not the gold but the invention, the imagination, the creativity, the spirit....
The greatest loss is... not the gold... but...
- The invention
- The imagination
- The creativity
- The spirit...
So, when the guy put the principal in the ground to just sit there, what he had really done was to bury the principle instead.
Are we listening...?