Which Tribe do you belong to?
That seems to be an over-riding, occasionally unsaid, concern in our society. Conservative or Liberal? Religious or Agnostic? One percent or ninety-nine percent? Blue collar or white-collar? Introvert or extrovert? College Graduate? Technical? Gender? Race? We have innumerable ways of identifying, classifying and limiting the understanding of ourselves and those around us. Labels and categories carry assumptions and expectations, whether they’re true or not. And how much of this relies upon context? It’s something that has challenged our species for all time and it doesn’t seem to be getting better….
That’s a pretty broad brush with which to start a conversation.
However I’m considering the business people I work and network with regularly in this article. I am reminded of an article I wrote about five years ago about working on a team that was diverse…..that didn’t think like me. In it I wrote about Ricardo Semler, author of The Seven Day Weekend, and his Brazilian company, Semco. I was intrigued by his description of his unique hiring practices and how he encourages his employees to try new things within their roles or “cruising the company” trying out different roles, finding their passions and being allowed the freedom to keep following those passions. He trumpets the extreme value of this to the organization, giving example after example of how this has created new value at Semco, and how many failures took place getting to success.
I consider the networking group I belong to and the wide variety of businesses and personalities they represent. As a consultant, it is easy to overlook the models and brilliance of those in other kinds of businesses, like Multi-Level Marketing, Legal, Mortgage, or Insurance. At a glance, they wouldn’t seem to have much in common with my endeavor……and yet…..
As human beings, they have a Primary Aim to their efforts. In his book The E-Myth Revisited, Michael Gerber defines the Primary Aim as what I’d like to be able to say about my life after it’s too late to do anything about it. Once I’ve got that written down, all I need to do is begin to live my life as if it were important….not my business….my Life. I need to to take my life seriously….create it intentionally..actively make my life into the life I wish it to be.
To quote Gerber:
Simple? Yes.Easy? No.But absolutely essential if my business is to have any meaning beyond work.
I believe that each of my colleague’s Primary Aims is similar to my own. We are on slightly different journeys, but that Aim is positive and we have the ability to walk with each other and help out in ways we aren’t even aware of…..and givers gain! As I assist, I am assisted.
So I have a lot to learn from my business colleagues and friends. Now is when I start listening more closely and learning more.
How about you?