I wrote Our Journey to Corporate Sanity for anyone who is ready to participate in a journey of exploration and co-creation for a higher purpose. It is especially for those who want to become 21st century leaders who create new opportunities instead of being stuck in old ways of problem-solving and blaming, and who understand that trust, community, and relationships are the keys to this era. Those who are participating in this journey want to learn how to transform themselves and their organizations, discovering and implementing more beautiful and powerful ways of living and working. By sharing the stories of 33 pioneers at the edges of business, this book can help us envision new approaches to life and work, and chart a much better course for businesses—locally, nationally, and globally.
A growing number of people and organizations are recognizing that another person’s or business’ best practices are often not applicable to their own situation. Guidance from others is vital, but we also need to gain a greater integrated understanding of our own unique situations, goals, and purpose, and then implement new approaches that fit our own needs. There is also an urgent need to shift from leading with structure and technology to leading with purpose. Rational structure and evolving technologies are obviously important, but they are meant to serve our higher purpose, not to dominate it. We can stop hanging onto old and tired ways of being that just keep shifting the deck chairs on a sinking ship, and instead seek true transformation. We are on the edge of a genuinely new paradigm.
Here are seven of the most important actionable steps each of us needs to take on the journey:
Mindset shift 1: The actions we need to take are right in front of us
The biggest actionable step we need to take is not yet another business program or framework. It is far simpler—and more challenging—than that. What we need is to adopt a 21st century mindset that drives our purpose and allows us to see opportunities to bring people together and create something beautiful in the world of business.
Mindset shift 2: Get clear on your purpose in a deep and meaningful way
I want to open hearts and minds and introduce people to the human-to-human purpose and experience driven adventure that is waiting for those who are ready. We are born to venture into uncharted territories in search of possibilities. It’s a voyage of purpose and courage. Business is becoming much more personal in the 21st century, as it is becoming increasingly clear that people are the foundation of business itself. It is time for us to become whole as individuals and as organizations.
A significant part of creating a sane and healthy world requires us to recognize that we can create a different path for business. So much can change when we recognize how business can bring us together to live in deeper community and partnership. It is part of many ancient philosophical/spiritual traditions to seek greater self-understanding, more profound wisdom, and better alignment with reality, and now such ancient teachings need to be brought in more explicitly into corporations and organizations. I want to bring people together—not in a naïve way that tries to force agreement or false compromise, but in a genuine way that looks at reality as it is, rather than how we may fantasize it to be.
Mindset shift 3: You can help chart a new path for our collective future
Our Journey to Corporate Sanity is not just another business book—it is bringing together a powerful group of visionary leaders who are offering a new path for us, ones that allows us to recognize that we are in the human-to-human era, where purpose and experiences matter more than mere transactions. It is time for conscious 21st century leaders to drive shared purpose in becoming whole, integrate our teams around new ways of being, and co-create in trusted communities and unlikely partnerships.
Mindset shift 4: Recognize that “work-life balance” is a myth
Business is an intrinsic part of our human experience, but somehow we get so wrapped up in number crunching and profit margins that we often forget that businesses are made up of people. We have constructed a superficial division between work and life in an attempt to find a mythical balance, when in reality, we are one person who no longer needs to be divided. More and more people want to show up as whole people, at work and in all areas of their lives. This book asks each of us to leave our limiting beliefs behind and realize that our journey is one big adventure to be experienced.
Mindset shift 5: Co-create thriving 21st century organizations based on trust, relationships, and community
There is no manual that is universally true in all the details, whether in business or any other area of life. Cookie cutters only work when you’re baking. At the same time, there are certain core principles that we can all tap into when we are in touch with our intuition and our reasoning capabilities. This book is meant as a guide to help people discover these core principles and start living their own stories in the most holistic way possible. I also outline seven signposts that can serve as guides to building thriving 21st century organizations: (1) conscious leaders, (2) shared purpose, (3) becoming whole, (4) integration, (5) new ways of being, (6) co-creating, and (7) LIFEworking.
Mindset shift 6: People drive the future of business
It is time for us to stop seeking the easy fix. The biggest actionable step we need to take is to recognize that business can become a genuine force for good. We can strive to make products and offer services that are of great benefit to society, and our drive for profit should support this higher purpose for business, not be at odds with it. The transformational storytellers in this book have transcended beyond the insanity of pursuing profit at any cost, and they offer great living examples of how we can all move forward on our journey to corporate sanity.
Mindset shift 7: Continue the conversation and integrate these steps into your daily life
We have been given this gift called life to explore our purpose and create what is meaningful to us. When you awaken to your voice and purpose in life, you can make the choice to reach out and connect. You never need to be alone—unless you choose to be—despite all the stories our current conditioning may tell us in this regard.
Paint your canvas with beautiful colors and find the other architects and 21st century leaders who are out there, those who have given themselves permission to play on this abundant and beautiful planet with open hearts, a vivid imagination, and a belief that business can be one of the biggest forces for good in the world. I hope that Our Journey to Corporate Sanity will help spark new conversations, and inspire you to greater understanding and enjoyment of your own amazing journey. This is just the beginning.