Do we take offence, or do we change things? Or do we do both?
There’s a lovely parable in Buddhist tradition. To walk in a world of thorns, we could remove all the thorns or cover every inch with leather. Or we can wear leather sandals.
Many of our current business practices are covering the world in thorns. They show up as damage to the environment, to social justice, and even to our employees. We need to remove those thorns and fix the issues. But to do so, we need to wear sandals.
I’ve seen this in leadership teams where a woman’s voice doesn’t get the airtime it deserves. We try to fix it through coaching – giving her sandals – when in reality it’s the thorns of closing down a different voice that need removing.
These are things that are just plain offensive. But if we’re not equipped to deal with them, if we don’t wear sandals as we’re sweeping away the thorns, then we’ll break before they’re gone.
So when you’re next offended by a wrong to you, to justice, to the climate, don’t let it tear you apart on the inside. It’s impossible to change the world if we’re too brittle and if all our brittlenesses collide with each other.
In the wonderfully circular words of The The, “If you can’t change the world. Change yourself. And if you can’t change yourself, change the world.”
To talk to Iyas about how to protect your business through the crisis and build a stronger and more purposeful one coming out of it, just book a time to chat.