The clothes we wear convey a message of who we are.
We dress in the uniform of the group we want to be part of. Sometimes subconsciously, other times intentionally. Our uniform gives a one-dimensional view.
Outdoorsy. Trendy, Accomplished. Laidback.
But none of us is one-dimensional. We contain multitudes.
When we see a kid dress themselves, putting things together that don’t belong, it lights a spark in us.
Cowboy boots. Princess dress. Fireman’s hat.
We delight in the reflection. A seemingly contradictory set of expressions that combine to a completely unique whole.
The freedom of being unboxed.
The delight of authentic expression.
The same principle holds true for business. For four decades we’ve worn an uninspired, one-dimensional uniform: Business is only for creating shareholder value.
We robbed our businesses—and our careers—of dimension. We took out passion and authenticity and replaced them with soullessness and burnout. We distilled the faceless shareholder to an unethical monster, fueled by bottomless greed. We made our businesses slaves to the shareholder, and we forgot a really important thing…we are the shareholder.
We make the rules, and we’re allowed to change them.
We’re allowed to be dimensional.
We want returns, but we also want clean oceans where the reefs flourish for our kids to play in. We want preserved forests that house wildlife and provide clean air. We want our careers to align with our values and give us interesting problems to solve. We want our fellow humans to be able to earn a living wage with dignity.
We want so many things beyond shareholder value.
The freedom of being unboxed from a myopic focus in business means having room to express all of our humanness as we innovate. Dreaming a future that creates a better society and environment for our grandkids, not just more money for us.
We can be anything we dream of.
Let’s make our dreams audacious.
Let’s dream up a future that delights our grandkids. A future that is better, because we existed.