The Beautiful Business on The Beach
We were quiet for a moment, gazing towards the horizon.
The deep rhythm of the surf pushed itself between us, echoing the silence of our breathing.
“It does make me angry.” Her face renewing its animation.
“Why has your generation created so many problems for ours?”
My mind flashed back to the mid-‘60s scenes of anger and uprising screamed across our TV screens, connecting our world of youth in a way not possible before.
We had asked he same questions then.
We don’t learn too quickly, do we?
The early morning darkness of the churning water had oozed aside to allow the rich blue of sky to flow from the ocean’s sandy floor.
“I mean, like, look at the mess around Brexit. And the insanity of egomaniacs like Trump grabbing positions of power across the world.”
The climbing sun insisted that its presence be felt, as it hurled dazzling jewels at the folds of the waves.
So, we squinted as we gazed out across the tumbling surf again.
”And Dad, the pollution and the cruelty and the horrible racial prejudice. Thanks a bunch!
So, I was thinking, what’s behind all this confusion? And I reckon that, wherever I look, it’s all about financial power. It’s greed, isn’t it?”
The wind took the soft corkscrews of her hair, the fine ends edged with copper and gold in the silver sunlight.
”Then, what do you think we should do?” I asked, as her voice subsided, and she sighed in exasperation.
So, we spoke of how each of us could change what we saw: first be changing the window through which we see the world. We could start by recognising the ugliness, whilst focusing our attention on the good.
Then our energy lifted, as we thought out loud about how each of us can make our small corner of the world a better place.
We could live our lives in such a way that our legacy would heal, not harm; lift not judge; grace not grab.
I’m convinced that we can do the same with our businesses.
We can leave such a legacy that the community which provides us with our living will rejoice in the fact that they engaged with us and our team.
Someone once said that she didn’t want to use our coaching relationship in order to create a legacy.
I chuckled in response, and made it clear that there would be no relationship without considering such a legacy.
To think that we can spend years in business without leaving an impact - a legacy - is engaging in business with our eyes shut. Our business behaviour, our firm’s culture and actions, leave a mark, whether we like it or not.
That fact is not our decision.
What we get to decide is the nature and quality of that legacy.
And in that decision we have a chance to beautify and elevate this world for the next generation.