I am reasonably smart women, very well read, able to converse with pretty much anyone on many issues, able to see complexity as well as most of the most able, and yet I feel I suffer in the world I work in, because I haven’t done a few things.
I haven’t: (Yet)
Built a multi million dollar company.
Held a high power job at the senior level.
Written a best selling book.
Worked with people well known for their outrageous success at making money and being famous and not much else.
Married the right guy.
Slept with the right guy…the one with the money, fame, connections.
Have time for the serious wanking that goes on over long business lunches or dinners.
Enjoy the whole ego stroking games that are endemic in the corporate world.
I am not into;
The seduction and manipulation that seems to be the requisite entry into the click of power.
Sleeping my way anywhere.
Compromising my own integrity in the workplace in any form just to get a leg up. (figuratively and literally)
I am certainly not a member of the Boys Club, which is another name for the club where all the wanking and ego posturing goes on, mostly made up of men. Its also the place where the inner deals are done, where governments are highjacked by money.
Instead I have;
Earned my own income for 26 years as a self employed person doing work I love, through my own creativity, determination, and persistence.
Raised a healthy, beautiful, emotionally strong child as a single parent since she was two.
Maintained a healthy, rich, vital relationship with my daughter through all of these years and been present for her major moments.
Stayed fit and healthy.
Built and maintained relationships with incredible people around the world who use the same kind of rule book as I do. (Unwilling to compromise their own integrity.)
Continued daily to put myself up for the highest degree of coaching, scrutiny, self reflection, feedback, learning, as I can find.
Learned that on my own I am a fraction of what I am when I collaborate with like minded others.
Lost money, been broke, been terrified of where the next dollar will come.
Traveled the world.
Made some serious mistakes, and some not so serious ones.
Spent too much on credit cards. (No longer.)
Yet I have realised that I am constantly apologising to myself for my own failures.(@#$!%%!!) I have still measured myself against the success of the old broken down model highlighted above…that I need to demonstrate my value by what I have done and the models I have built in the world that fit a particular perspective. How many people follow my blog, read my articles, hire me, pay me…how much money I have in the bank, who are my clients, what are my material assets…..
This is a seriously tiresome and entirely pointless waste of energy. This comparing and measuring stuff. As the artist Hugh MacLeod said, “Never compare your inside with somebody else’s outside.
Stop this useless waste of energy my head screams. Just stop. Cut it out. Stop my own BS/victim story. Enough already!
As Bucky Fuller said, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
I have been focusing too much on what doesn’t work, and how I don’t like that it doesn’t work.
Focus instead only on doing more and more about what matters most that I can change and influence.
Acting always and only from the highest level of integrity for the health of all of humanity and life.
Or as the great Seth Godin says in his wonderful book, “Linchpin”, practice my art, be indispensable and ship.
I asked my coach today what she thought was my “superpower” (a question Seth asks, referring to the super hero’s of the comic books).
Without a moments hesitation, she said, “Christine, you can see bullshit better than anyone I know.” (I did learn that skill by being seduced by great BS artists.)
Who is up for having a bullshit detector in their lives, or in the businesses? Who is up for that highest level of accountability to their own truth? (First I need to stop the BS around my comparison.) Who is up for Integrity in the workplace?
What organisations, politicians, NGO’s are up for this level of Integrity in the workplace? (Not many, sadly.)
And what value is this integrity in the workplace to you? To your company? Do you Dare?
I do believe in my heart that so many of us are over all the bullshit. That it is sickening, exhausting to maintain. Both the constant BS from others, and the endless BS we tell ourselves about ourselves.
Yet sadly we have also reached a point where our bullshit detectors are dimmed by the constant barrage. We step over the lies and seductions from our politicians, and corporate leaders, knowing what they do, but pretending not to know how to stop it when BS seems to be all that happens. We have become immune, and bullshit is the golden staph of our age.
And the even more silent pandemic is the BS that we do not even know about. What goes on behind the scenes in the shadow corridors of money and power. Just how much we are under a spell of trickery and illusion.
Hmm…its time to roll up my sleeves and get out the shovel. There is so much work to be done on shining the light on the bullshit, and having done so, building in its place, integrity. People of integrity, systems of integrity, organisations of integrity, communities of integrity. Integrity in the workplace.
Who is up for this? More than the money, more than the fame, give me work that is a shining light of integrity. On this I wish to be measured.
(This article was published in 2010. Sadly, not much has changed in the world of business integrity. However in my life I have built models that make the old models obsolete. Models that enable humans to convene around a purpose that they feel collectively passionate about, to bring their full agency to work within the community, to make stuff that matters, and to do so without minimal human upset and almost entirely self managed. This is the work I currently do in organisations. Ensuring that the Pattern Integrity is held in all domains, as the business thrives, and the steward leaders become exemplars.)