Red Scare?

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We Americans tend to think very highly of heroes and individualism. Both are woven into our cultural identity and occupy a place of reverence in our history and our psyche. Personally, I appreciate and admire acts of courage, service and high integrity. It expands my notions of what’s possible and deepens my understanding of human potential. As a social being, that modeling both informs and inspires me.

I also believe there can be a debilitating flip-side to idolizing and/or lauding individualism.

It can be tempting to dismiss or diminish the importance and power of acts performed by more than one, otherwise known as community. And yet, in most cases, groups of people can accomplish more than a single person acting alone, especially, groups of people aligned to a shared purpose.

Language is both metaphor and meaning maker.

When I consider words such as ‘communism’ or ‘socialism,’ I wonder if they have negatively impacted our own lexicon; specifically, the words and meanings of ‘community’ and ‘society.’ While they share a root, they are completely different words. Has the vilification of one inadvertently corrupted the other? And, how does our reverence for heroism and individualism play into that?

These questions, I believe, are important to business and here’s why. Unless you are a solo-preneur, you are not a company of one. Companies are communities. The stronger the sense of community, the stronger the company. That which diminishes, even intellectually, the value of ‘community’ is a liability to the whole and its potential. Each person’s work and contribution is crucial to the success of the company. Equally crucial, however, is the synergy and force brought about by another source—more than one.

Set in motion a united ‘force’ at work—a company of people working towards a shared purpose.

As Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi so profoundly instructed…’Use the force.”

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