A friend sent me an article on change leadership from 2004. When he sends me things, I know they come with his recommendation. I respect him, so I always find myself reading or rereading the document. In this case I was struck by the timelessness of writer’s perspective. Ten points; each could have been made a decade or more ago (as they were). Alternatively, they could have been made yesterday. With the exception of some trendy words in the present, the principles and approach the author recommends are as current any anything I have recently found in business literature.
As I reflect on the priorities, values, and models that have endured, I am struck by the lack of challenging thoughts. The role of the customer, employee, and the need to be sustainable are, if one looks at business writings over the past five decades, consistently important. While the words that one uses to describe one’s perspective and findings of various studies changes, the core remains constant.
As I extend my reflection from the business of making money to include the business of living, I find that the observations hold true. At the core of living life to the maximum, one finds words like empathy, community, and compassion. While the words nuance dance around the core, the ideals that fight against them also remain consistent. With the availability of many words to define the opposition, the ones that come to mind are self and selfishness, going it alone, revenge, and getting even.
Even as I look back on our conversations, while we debate institutional values and faith system differences, at the core what ties us together and creates the opportunity for the living the best possible life remains constant. One writer captured it well; “Ever sovereign in his high tower, he keeps his eye on the godless nations. Rebels don’t dare raise a finger against him.” (Psalm 66.7)
In light of the timelessness, it is ironic how easily I lose my grip on the fundamentals. Today comes with a fresh opportunity to embrace life at its best.