The Three Foundations of Great Leadership, A Great OrganiSation & A Great Life
Great Leadership begins and ends with Authenticity, Integrity and Being Non-Self-Centred in Life.
Steven Philip Warner | Issue Date - 01/08/2011
A Valley of Tears that Almost Everyone Experiences: The Mid-Life Crisis
At some point in life we all stop measuring time from the beginning and start measuring time from the end. It shifts from thinking about “How far have I come?” to “How much time and opportunity do I have left?” – the difference between, “I’m 30 years old” and “I have about 30 years left.”
No matter how good you look, no matter how good you’ve gotten your family to look, and no matter how much wealth, fame, position or power you have amassed, you will experience a profound lack of fulfillment – the incompleteness, emptiness and pain expressed by the commonly occurring question:
Is This All There Is?
Let’s be clear: There is nothing inherently wrong with wealth, good looks, fame, position or power, but contrary to almost universal belief “wealth, good looks, fame, position and power will never be enough”.
And facing up to that fact leaves people disoriented, disturbed and lost, and in search of meaning. At this point in life many men start buying red convertibles (or their equivalent) and women have their own ways of dealing.
No matter how good you look or how much you have personally amassed, it will never be enough to avoid this crisis. Dealing with the crisis of “Is this all there is?” lies in having a commitment to the realisation of a future (a cause) that leaves you with a passion for living. This principle applies to corporate entities as well as to human beings. Value creation for both is the scorecard for success.
Value creation is not the source of corporate or personal passion and energy.
Being committed to something bigger than oneself is the source of that passion and energy. And every individual and every organisation has the power to choose that commitment — there is no “right answer”. We all have the opportunity to create what lights us up.
This is the actionable pathway to Committed To Something Bigger than Oneself.
Committed to Something Bigger than Oneself: Summary
The following quote from George Bernard Shaw’s play “Man and Superman” (the epistle dedicatory to the play) captures this idea of being committed to something bigger than oneself. In a few lines it does, but does it perfectly and precisely: “This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. “I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no “brief candle” to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”