My partner Gregg sent me an article from New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman entitled “Time to Reboot America”. Quite a good article and I want to just quote on key section form it.
“…we’ve fallen into a trend of diverting and rewarding the best of our collective I.Q. to people doing financial engineering rather than real engineering. These rocket scientists and engineers were designing complex financial instruments to make money out of money — rather than designing cars, phones, computers, teaching tools, Internet programs and medical equipment that could improve the lives and productivity of millions… That’s why we don’t just need a bailout. We need a reboot. We need a build out. We need a buildup. We need a national makeover.”
I couldn’t agree more, but the makeover we need goes beyond the way we invest in the stimulus package, it goes to the very core of how we think and what we value.
We have been seduced for too long into thinking that success is the same as the measure of success. We have been lulled into thinking that if the numbers look good we are successful; whatever the number we choose – stock price, profit, size of my bank account. While the numbers do give us a a to measure our progress, it is not in itself the progress.
But it is often easier to adjust the numbers than it is to adjust the contribution we are making. It is easier to change the scoreboard than play the game better. It is easier to do financial engineering than it is to do real engineering.
We have lost our focus on the systems that contribute to the growth and welfare of our society and instead focused on the system that provides the measurements. The crisis our country is in is not only a financial crisis, it is a value crisis. We have lost our moral compass. We have confused the measurement system with the system under measurement.
Every company, every person should take time this holiday season and ask the question – What is it that we are here to contribute to our society. What is our soulful reason for existing and who do we serve. Whether it be the marketplace for our goods or services, or our friends and family with the essence of our being, we are here to serve. And when we do that the energy of our service is transformed into another energy form to let us know we have truly fulfilled our purpose and made a contribution. Sometimes that energy is in the form of money other times it may just be in the form of a smile or a hug.
However it comes to you remember it is an exchange for the gift of giving for the gift of being in service to another.
Norman Wolfe | President/CEO | Quantum Leaders, Inc