As you know if you follow this Blog, I occasionally have "crises of faith" (as a Priest friend of long standing, who knows me well, puts it). As in: What the hell am I doing running around like a madman at 63.9? God help me, is it all ego?
Yesterday [Meet the Press, 09.24.06], in response to a question by Tim Russert, President Clinton said in part: "The biggest problem confronting the world today is the illusion that our differences matter more than our common humanity. That's what's driving the terrorism."
As my out-of-U.S. work, for the first time, eclipses my in-U.S. work, I do to some extent (a significant extent) see my role as "Ambassador at large"—salesman for humanistic capitalism perhaps. You may recall that I returned to "excellence" (Excellence. Always.—my new signature) and the "basics" on the occasion of my April trip to Siberia. (Trying to answer my own query: "Why the hell am I in Siberia?") Furthermore I added a PPT slide and said, and believe, that:
"Business* [*at its "excellent" best] can be: An emotional, vital, audacious, innovative, joyful, frightening, risky, creative, entrepreneurial endeavor that breathes life & fire into our work & life & elicits maximum concerted human potential in the wholehearted effort to help others ** [**employees, clients, suppliers, communities, owners, temporary partners] succeed & profit & imagine & reach places they'd never dreamed they could go."
To usurp Clinton, that is effectively a plea to vigorously engage as many as possible to produce and pursue the fruits of our "common humanity." Amidst my far-flung travels, when I discuss "cultural differences," my unyielding perspective is that "of course they exist"—but a person who exudes common human decency will prevail—if not with bowls of profit, at least with the self-knowledge that her or his passing has added rather than subtracted from humanity's plight.
So, thanks, Mr President. Guess I'll keep on truckin.'