One of the best moments of my life occurred last week at The Mindful Leadership Summit in D.C.
I attended a break out session titled Conscious Capitalism. The speaker’s name was Raj Sisodia, here is the link to his TED talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8faXr6WhCM
I started crying with joy a few minutes in, and have been consciously consuming everything I can on this topic.
As a child, I started creating businesses in my head. Never very interested in things that just filled my time or entertained me, but in things that affected the world. I thought about the fun, the possibility of having money, the channels of power to influence the world. Creating businesses to meet people’s needs, creating jobs, and making things is what moved me. My desire to creative this way was very timely, as we lived in a time where news of plant closings, and exported jobs filled the nightly news, along with the conversations of the men around my dad’s social coffee meetings at the local diner. Do any of you remember when the paychecks got smaller? The nerves set in about the s0 and so’s sending our dad’s jobs away and importing lesser quality. Instead of our own burgers with fries, now my sister and I shared a soda and grilled cheese sandwich while we pretended not to listen to the men at the next table in their worry and anger.
Having been raised in a poor neighborhood by people who believed money was both necessary and the root of all evil, businesses were just out to get them, and it was always the fault of “the man” that we were not rich like them, I have to admit, that my love of entrepreneurialism and capitalist nature was skewed against the very thing I think God and nature had built me to do. I persisted but with less joy than I once had.
I have had my own business for 20 years, actually a number of my own businesses through out my life, but the business that provided for me and my son for the past 20 years. The piece that has been a challenge for me is making money for the sake of making money, making more than needed, and worse, hurting people to make money.
Being American and having money and physical appearances presented as the most important things soured me a bit. Leaving me at odds with my desire to love the power of businesses, but the inner knowledge that the way we do business, is askew. Remembering the men and women of my childhood, their anger about money, their resentment toward power, sometimes made it strange to be in business. Who wants to be the bad guy? While I have of course worked on this, the joy of purpose around building a business for selfish reasons felt clouded.
I still loved business, and saw it’s potential. Yet, my inspiration was dulled, because I felt a bit alone in my knowing of the positive potential and how to connect with it. I cried in that break out session on Conscious Capitalism, because my heart was renewed. My inner knowledge of what was possible is being proven.
Capitalism’s potential was being discussed and promoted and moved into the world. There are communities and leaders who are actively evolving the great gifts of business and creating tools for leaders to become conscious, and these leaders bring their intentional wisdom to the drivers of economy that lift people up.
If you are inspired by this, let’s increase the power of this evolution. Read the book: Conscious Capitalism, join the communities, attend the events. Message me and let’s celebrate this together.
This is compassionate business, compassionate leadership, mindful leadership at it’s best. This is the future of capitalism.
Cheers to greater purpose and meaning in our world, and in our businesses!