I went to the Metropolitan Opera with my friend, Allan. Prior to the show, we met at the B&N on 66th Street to grab some coffee and talk about a business project he's working on. As I was standing in line, I saw a mug merchandised with that familiar saying by Gandhi "Be the Change You Wish to See in the World". I've seen it a million times before on every conceivable piece of merchandise from coffee mugs to calendars to t-shirt to bumper stickers. It's published so often that it's almost become a cliche.
So how about we take that saying and use as a discussion starter for business? We use it so often when talking about social issues, politics, the general act of living and playing a part in our communities. Now put yourself in your boss's shoes or your CEO's shoes. What is that you'd like to see your company do or say or be? And can you take those ideas and either transform your workplace or start your own company around those principles?
Here are the changes I'd like to see in the (business) world and ones I can be:
1.) A constant champion for new ideas, the crazier the better
2.) An empathic listener of all stakeholders that have anything to do with my business
3.) A cheerleader for those I know who are too afraid, nervous, shy, or embarrassed to speak up for themselves
4.) A constant confidence booster
5.) Someone who cares, all day, everyday
6.) Someone who shuts down negativity, know-it-alls, hecklers, bullies, self-proclaimed "idea guys", and other unsavory characters who kill innovation and creativity with their brash, loud-mouth personalities
7.) A connector, especially of those parties who seem disparate on the surface
8.) Committed, compassionate, concerned, open-minded who believes a discussion and a promise are far more important and useful than hours, day, and weeks spent building powerpoint slides and graphs made from colorful shapes
9.) Organized as a web rather than a pyramid
That's not a bad list. And it's not impossible to accomplish either. Best of all, business, companies, and stakeholders would be a lot better off if the world of commerce had these qualities in abundance.