Enlightened self-interest for me is simply acting to further the interests of others without attachment, knowing that my own interests will be taken care of as a consequence.
This is very different to unenlightened self-interest which seems to drive many of our politicians and so-called business leaders who act according to their own selfishness.
All over the world I see unenlightened self-interest destroying businesses, families, lives in general, and of course, being in the grip of unenlightened self-interest means we are not yet able to avoid the catastrophes caused by our inability and unwillingness to live in harmony with our planet.
The good news is that I have also seen productivity and positivity go through the roof, and the changing of what’s normal for the good of people and our planet, when the awesome power of enlightened self-interest is at work.
Is enlightened self-interest driving you? Could you do more for your world and therefore for yourself?
How many of your actions yesterday feathered your own nest and cost somebody else something they didn’t want to give away?
I was moved by an article recently in CSR Wire by John Elkington, one of my heroes, and the father of the triple-bottom line, where he said:
Properly understood, sustainability is not the same as corporate social responsibility (CSR)—nor can it be reduced to achieving an acceptable balance across economic, social and environmental bottom lines. Instead, it is about the fundamental, intergenerational task of winding down the dysfunctional economic and business models of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and the evolution of new ones fit for a human population headed towards nine billion people, living on a small planet already in “ecological overshoot”.
Please read John Elkington’s full article here.
For me enlightened self-interest is one of the key drivers of a new world that is desperately waiting to be born.
I would be very interested in your thoughts.
Enlightened self-interest along with compelling stories without spin and turning values into virtues (see previous posts of June 2nd and 4th) are three of what I believe are the 8 critical factors for success in modern business.
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