“Business has to give people enriching, rewarding lives, or it’s simply not worth doing.” – Richard Branson
Got a bunch of entrepreneurism books out of the library. Grace Jones is due tomorrow but Richard Branson was sitting in my bag next to me and I’ve wanted to learn more about what he does for a long time. So I’ve started that. It’s a great quote, preceeding a section on how difficult it is to change organizational cultures.
So anyway, I thought it was a great quote. He obviously knows what he’s talking about. I liked it because he doesn’t say you have to make people’s lives better, he says that their lives have to be enriching and rewarding – there are way more meaningful standards in what he is saying. Better means impoverished in one way or another, depressed, but slightly better off than before. He is talking about a fundamentally more effective and sane way of approaching success. Does a culture create whole people, or at least support them in becoming a whole person? Or does it help them to slowly die?
I don’t think my role as an employer is to completely take responsibility for someone’s life nor their development, but if someone is going to be at work for eight hours a day, or if it’s even going to be a significant part of their lives, it has to be a positive influence. They have to get where they are going as a being and I at least can’t hold them back from doing so.
In the bazillion years since my last post, I have:
- Nearly completed my Master’s in Accounting;
- Started studying for the CPA exams;
- Landed a job with a major accounting firm;
- Moved to Northampton, MA – one of the nicest towns in America;
- Spent significant time playing with cats;
- and watched massive amounts of the Food Network.
It’s been a time of massive growth in my understanding of Iron Chef. I will post more often.
Also, Twitter completely consumed my internet self-expression.
Hello Business World:
I got a bunch of Drucker books from DuBois Library and could not get into them.
He consulted for companies but did not actually work for any nor hold management positions? Is that right?
I decided to return the books because I did not see the value in advice from someone with no experience.
Ricardo Semler was super-easy to read for the opposite reason, and with better ideas. The best of what Drucker suggested is in Semler’s actual work. Better than the best, actually.
I am going to read Drucker’s work on the origins of totalitarianism but I’d have to get some guidance on what, if anything, else to read.
I have emerged from my finals/moving melee with a 4.0 this semester.
Three days of anxiety attacks and phonecalls to my therapist mother and the grades are in.
Am I superficial to worry about them?
Only because I am also watching lots of kitten videos.
But kittens are pretty deep.
Grades can be a good indicator of how well someone is learning a subject, especially if that someone really cares. So yes, I do think they matter.
I definitely have a lot more to learn. Still reading R. Edward Freeman’s Strategic Management to complement my ethics and accounting industry context courses.
Also Give and Take by Adam Grant per the recommendation of Prof. Amy Wrzesniewski, one of my favorite professors at NYU. She’s at Yale now. Say hi for me! The book is a page-turner.
Go to the library!
I just requested like ten books at UMass Amherst DuBois and am heading over there to get educated. I will be sitting on a bench outside ASAP.
Enjoy the spring, you Northern Hemisphere people.
I have been reading that business books make people smarter – and wealthier.
I am getting into accounting and business largely to live a simpler life, oddly enough. The idea is to be involved in society so as to be proactive without becoming lost in materialism. I can work on promoting sustainability accounting and help small business owners understand their finances but I can also make enough money to have free time and live well.
My decision creates a certain dissonance for me: how much of a business-type do I want to be? How much do I want to know as opposed to immersing myself in no-knowledge?
I do value doing my job well and a lot of the material out there is very interesting. So the plan is to read articles every day and a book a week. The idea is to be a better accountant and entrepreneur, and to learn from the experiences of others. Also to be as innovative as possible. Innovation saves a lot of trouble and adds a lot of fun to work.
Currently reading Thinking In Systems and Corporate Governance and the SEC, the latter for school and the former so as to be able to get the systems thinking behind permaculture and possible innovation in organizational development. (I am interested in non-hierarchical organizations as well as stakeholder management.)
Perhaps several kinds of knowledge lend themselves to wisdom, especially in the long run?
I missed the stars. And the thing about missing the stars, for me, is that I didn’t even realized I missed them.
I went to Sunderland, MA, to look at a new place to live and the twilight stopped me in my tracks: a wash of purple across the horizon and little twinkles emerging in the incredible dark blue sky.
And I could see the stars when I looked up later. I really enjoyed the silence.
I’m moving back to North Leverett, or I should say back to Western MA as I used to live in Shelburne Falls, as I will be in school full time at UMass Amherst.
I am looking forward to it.
I will be back in Worcester and Boston occasionally but I am happy to be out in the country, or nearly so.