As you know if you follow this Blog, I occasionally have "crises of faith" (as a Priest friend of long standing, who knows me well, puts it). As in: What the hell am I doing running around like a madman at 63.9? God help me, is it all ego?
Yesterday [Meet the Press, 09.24.06], in response to a question by Tim Russert, President Clinton said in part: "The biggest problem confronting the world today is the illusion that our differences matter more than our common humanity. That's what's driving the terrorism."
As my out-of-U.S. work, for the first time, eclipses my in-U.S. work, I do to some extent (a significant extent) see my role as "Ambassador at large"—salesman for humanistic capitalism perhaps. You may recall that I returned to "excellence" (Excellence. Always.—my new signature) and the "basics" on the occasion of my April trip to Siberia. (Trying to answer my own query: "Why the hell am I in Siberia?") Furthermore I added a PPT slide and said, and believe, that:
"Business* [*at its "excellent" best] can be: An emotional, vital, audacious, innovative, joyful, frightening, risky, creative, entrepreneurial endeavor that breathes life & fire into our work & life & elicits maximum concerted human potential in the wholehearted effort to help others ** [**employees, clients, suppliers, communities, owners, temporary partners] succeed & profit & imagine & reach places they'd never dreamed they could go."
To usurp Clinton, that is effectively a plea to vigorously engage as many as possible to produce and pursue the fruits of our "common humanity." Amidst my far-flung travels, when I discuss "cultural differences," my unyielding perspective is that "of course they exist"—but a person who exudes common human decency will prevail—if not with bowls of profit, at least with the self-knowledge that her or his passing has added rather than subtracted from humanity's plight.
So, thanks, Mr President. Guess I'll keep on truckin.'
Before blogging became all the rage, Tom was posting book reviews and Observations (essentially early blog posts) to this site. You can find the archives below.
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