Who are you?

Turns out, who are you is not an easy question to answer.

There are multiple dimensions to who you are.  There is who you think you are. There is who others perceive you to be.  How you are perceived may depend entirely on context, where people know you from. You are most likely a different person to your friends then you are to you co-workers and you are probably also a different person to your lover.  You are also probably different at different stages in your life and perhaps at different times of the day, depending on what you ate or didn’t eat and how that is affecting your brain processes at any given moment.

For those of us who aspire to lead, we have to answer this in at least 2 dimensions.  Who do we wish to be, for ourselves. What are our personal ethics and what sort of behavior are we ok with and what isn’t. This helps us resist temptation when it presents itself.

We also need to know what sort of impact we want to have on others. I have written before that it isn’t enough to want to do good. Your reputation may not hinge on who you actually are, but rather on who you are perceived to be. This is especially true for people who put themselves out there to be leaders.

Being a good leader, because it depends on perception, requires you to perform as a leader would.  This doesn’t mean being inauthentic. It means understanding that presentation matters and taking the steps necessary to make sure your presentation is consistent with your core values as a person.

Some leaders fake it. Their presented self is a lie and doesn’t jive with who they really are.  However, the good leaders are ones whose personal and professional lives are consistently ethical and visionary and rational and hardworking and fearless.

Don’t be afraid to wear your ethics on your sleeve. Being open about who you are personally, helps people understand who you aspire to be as a leader. This is where the fearlessness comes in. Most of us are quiet about our ethics and values. Those are personal to us. For leaders, they need to be explicit which means you need to perform your ethical values publicly for them to be understood.

Will this protect you from attack? Of course not. Unethical leaders who lie to gain advantage will lie about you if it helps them. But being clear about who you are and who you aspire to be as a leader, will help you confront and take on the challenges that come with being a leader.

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Why Humanism Matters in Politics

I promote Humanism for a reason.

The Atlantic had a great article about how the secularization of the electorate is impacting politics.  If you are unfamiliar with the term, let me translate. More and more people lack religion. Because our beliefs impact our politics, larger groups of people who don’t believe in gods will necessarily impact politics.

The problem, for all my atheist friends who are adamant that promoting atheism will produce humanistic approaches to politics, that doesn’t appear to happen.  Here is the article. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/04/breaking-faith/517785/

The gist of the article is this. If someone was conservative before losing their faith they are conservative after losing their faith. If they were angry before losing their faith, they are angry afterward. If they were liberal before, they are liberal afterward. Switching to atheism doesn’t change one’s political temperament.

Which is why Humanism is so important and why Humanism needs to be promoted!  If we are going to create a more just world, converting people to atheism isn’t going to accomplish that. Encouraging people to adopt a more humanistic attitude will!

For the readers of my blog who are engaged in atheist activism or who use the term atheism when what you really mean is Humanism, please ask yourself why. Why do you promote atheism. If it is because you think atheism will help people become more humanistic, realize it doesn’t work.  If you want peoplet o be more humanistic, you need to talk to them about and promote Humanism.

If you want to learn more - get the Handy Humanism Handbook: https://humanistlearning.com/jen-hancocks-handy-humanism-handbook/

Meaning & Purpose in Business

If you want to have more meaning and purpose in your business life, start by thinking about your values.

Ethics and values are critical to understanding meaning and purpose.  Your values help you figure out what it is that matters to you. When you know what matters to you, it becomes easier to make decisions in support of your values. This is true whether you are talking about your personal life or your professional life.

In the day to day hustle of just getting through the day, it is easy to lose sight of what you value. This is one of the reasons why people struggle with work life balance, relationships, and satisfaction and engagement at work.

At some point, most of us need jobs, mostly so that we can afford to have shelter, food and medical care. But what happens when the only jobs available cause harm to others or are exploitative?

I’ve known people who have left high paying jobs, because they didn’t want to be involved in making weapons. It just wasn’t worth the money to them anymore.  I’ve also known people who stayed at jobs that treated them badly because they needed the money.

Work is moral. Our choices, to either support or enable bad behavior or businesses that run counter to our values impacts the sort of world we live in.

The point of Humanistic Business Management isn’t just to encourage better treatment of the humans working for businesses. It’s also about what businesses do for business and in the course of conducting business.

Is the product or service net beneficial to humans and the world in which we live? Or is it harmful?  Does the company acquire the resources necessary to create the products and services in a comprehensively ethical way or not?

Think of humanistic business management as being concerned with three levels of business simultaneously. It is concerned with the problem being solve, how the problem is being solve and ultimately the impact this business has on all the people impacted by the business (workers, employers and clients).

Do you currently feel like your work has meaning and purpose? If not, what do you plan to do to change that?

To learn more consider taking: https://humanistlearning.com/workplacemeaningandpurpose/

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