The purpose of business

photo credit: craig neal

photo credit: craig neal

Celebrating the beginning of our 8th year in the Bay Area!

“The purpose of business is to elevate the human spirit and eliminate suffering on the planet.” So says Mark Albion, our recent Thought Leader Conversation Starter in the Bay Area. Some questions asked of Mark: How do we create the change that would help our organizations reflect that value? What are some of the changes necessary to switch boomers from retirement to empowerment within our society and in our corporations?  How deeply into the American business world do you think your philosophy/approach to business has penetrated?

What I learned from Mark: the purpose of business, like "Mr. Hatch," we must live into our lives as if we are loved and can make a difference to others, and that the choir is broad, cuts a wide swath, and is growing.

Mark's response: There is an Ethiopian proverb – when you pray, move your feet. It’s time for us to move our feet. Whatever you do may seem to be insignificant to you, but it’s important that you do it. Let’s get on with it… even though it’s not so easy. We may be through with the past, but the past isn’t through with us.

Everyone can serve. It just takes a heart of service. No matter what your job is, it’s up to you to stand up right now and do what it is you can do to make a difference. No matter how small it is, the ripple effects are there.

Two surveys – one by Gallinsky. Children want their adults not to be so stressed out. They want them to be there when they’re with them. Another with college seniors said “I don’t know any adults who are happy” – we want our children to be happy, why not be happy ourselves?! We don’t talk to each other and realize that we’d rather have the life we want than make money.

We don’t celebrate enough – celebrate the little things.

We all dream the noble dreams, we all want the same things. Gangs would like to celebrate the good things, too.

How to make change in your current situation:

1) create the Business Argument for change 2) understand the politics, 3) develop a coalition of people who agree with you and 4), make your boss look good.

Understand before you want to be understood. Show how you can lower costs, improve conditions and then social change (in that order). Find out what really motivates your boss, and focus your pitch on that.

We all want to love and be loved. We all want to make some contribution. Let’s start in on our Nobel Peace Prize now.

-Patricia Neal