Restoring the Human in Humanity by Simon Sinek
If you would remember, I finished last Friday’s blog post with an inspiring and rather revealing quote that is still lingering in the back of my mind. More than anything else, because of how much it means in helping us all transform the corporate business world from what we have known and experienced over the last 30 to 50 years (that, by the way, doesn’t seem to have taken us very far, if we judge by the current econoclypse we have been going through for the last 4 years), as a way to prepare for the next 30 to 50 years into what real, meaningful, purposeful and sustainable growth is all about: “Corporations aren’t people, people are people“.
So with that mantra still lingering around, and rather deep, I thought I would bring back the Inspiring Video of the Week series, since I have left it behind for a little while now, and I think I may have the perfect one to keep things going and still follow the flow of the reflections we shared in last Friday’s article “Racing to the Top Where Corporations Are People“. It’s, of course, another TEDx Talk, this time around in San Diego by the always insightful and rather stimulating Simon Sinek, who, over the course of a little bit over 12 minutes he came to talk about “Restoring the Human in Humanity“:
The presentation itself is from early 2011, but I am sure that after you watch it you would have to agree with me that it’s now fresher than ever, specially, as we keep embarking into figuring out a way of how we are going to provoke that social business transformation that we all keep raving about, but that it looks like it’s pacing itself slower than never. Probably, due to the fact that corporations are finally coming to terms with the realisation that it is no longer possible to put a stop to it, nor neglect it, nor ignore it. So you may as well embrace it at a good and comfortable enough pace to be able to disrupt the whole model of how business has been conducted over the last few decades.
And in this particular case Simon does a superb job at it, because, on his dissertation, he places the focus right where it belongs to make that transformation happen: the people. The knowledge workers themselves, once again. People who come together, because, after all, “humanity is made up of humans, of individuals”, and, like I have been saying over here for a long while now, we are social animals with an ability to form a community, a culture. He does a wonderful job in setting up the stage of what would define a community, a company, a nation: “it is a group of people with a common set of values and beliefs, where trust emerges as a distinctly human experience of individuals sharing that very same common belief”. WOW! Powerful stuff!
He gets to talk further along during his presentation about how critical and rather important trust is, whether on a personal level, or on a work environment, although he keeps questioning why is it so tough to generate such trust at work versus our own personal lives. We have seen in the past, and over the course of time, indeed, how critical trust is in not only helping build healthy personal business relationships amongst knowledge workers, but, much more importantly, with customers and business partners. Yet, he brings up some excellent points as to why building trust in whatever the corporate environment is as paramount as being capable of striking a new kind of sustainable business growth. Trust becomes *the* new currency.
[By the way, if you are looking out there for some fascinating and delightful reads on the topic of trust and how much it disrupts the way we have done business putting humans back into the equation, I can strongly recommend you read these blog posts from my good friends JP Rangaswami (a.k.a. @jobsworth) and Rawn Shah].
His notion, Simon’s, that is, and further explanation of “The Split” is just pure genius. Precious little gem worth while going through on the presentation, because he links it, and rather accurately, to loyalty, a sense of fulfillment, a sense of purpose, of cause, before they fade away to no avail and with no turning point.
And technology won’t help to bring it all back, since, according to Simon, it would make things happen faster, therefore becoming an accelerator of the wrong behaviours, amplifying, therefore, that Split: “Technology is wonderful for making connections, for exchange of information, for driving transactions. [However,] Technology is terrible for creating human relationships” [Emphasis mine]
This is the point in Simon’s presentation where things get really interesting, because he comes to postulate something that we may have just taken for granted for far too long and, of course, we are paying for it, right as we speak: “Human experiences require humans, not technology”. We keep starving for a human union which is, perhaps, one of the main reasons why we still keep going to face to face conference events. Seriously, what makes us go to live conference events, when technology can be a good enough substitute? Well, Simon keeps questioning that we have gone perhaps a bit too far, considering that a person should not be a luxury. That our mere survival depends on that notion, that is, not to take for granted individuals and those personal business relationships they have built over time, because, essentially, what we need is more human interaction, to shake hands. According to him, we need handshake leadership (Gosh, I *do* love that expression!), we need to have handshake conversations, handshake friends, handshake dialogues, handshake meetings. You name it. We just need to bring back the human spirit into all of the interactions we keep getting involved with. It’s eventually what makes us all more humans, with that rather strong sense of autonomy, decision power by lowering down the centre of gravity, co-ownership, co-responsibility, in short, smarter work. For everyone.
Goodness! I know! At this point in time your head is probably spinning just as much as mine is, but to be honest, the icing on the cake is this absolutely brilliant quote from his presentation that I think needs to become everyone’s motto, mantra, mojo or new career aspiration, or just simply a redefinition of the corporate knowledge worker of the 21st century: essentially, we need to put ourselves in situations where “we can create real human connections” and “where trust becomes a standard, and not the exception“.
Truly outstanding! Let’s not forget about that, please, and let’s keep it in mind for every single human interaction that we carry out on a daily basis. Starting today, tomorrow. And always. Only then would we be capable of achieving a stronger sense of human awakening.