Sunday, 11 January 2009

Competitors, compassion, and craziness

Some things I've read in the past few days ...

"Get planning to move ahead of the sheep now" - a Tweet from someone I follow

"When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because  they were like sheep without a shepherd" - re Jesus in Matthew 9v36

"The prevailing trend that what one achieves - fame, wealth, performance in a turbo-charged career - is vastly more significant than the investment we make in emotional intimacy. ... we now know more clearly than ever - from extensive research - that it is the latter that is far more likely to make us happy" - Madeleine Bunting, The Guardian

Googling "make money" generates about 62m results; "give money" generates about 2m results; "profit" about 194m, "generosity" about 10m and "compassion" about 28m.  And googling "intimacy" - with many results suggesting we miss the point altogether - generates 14m results.  Interesting way of measuring what we prioritise?

I work for myself, so I understand the need to compete and generate revenue - if I don't win work that others want, then I don't pay the mortgage.  I recognise I need to invest in what I do at work, to be serious about it, or I have neither clients, nor expertise on which to trade.  And, of course, I'm not always generous-spirited about those with whom I compete.

But, maybe, just maybe, this is as good a time as any to think about how we bring respect for competitors (and of course others) into our businesses - and how we put those businesses themselves into perspective.  Aren't we capable of so much more?

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