In the last handful of days, I’ve made some commitments to people. I made two on the last day. In all cases, I’ve agreed to put my resources to bear against their problems and to help them find new levels of success. It made me think about the stories of the Spartans in Steven Pressfield’s The Warrior Ethos (which I’ve just reread for probably the fourteenth time).
In The Warrior Ethos is this little detail about Spartan warrior society:
Plutarch asked, “Why do the Spartans punish with a fine the warrior who loses his helmet or spear but punish with death the warrior who loses his shield?”
Because helmet and spear are carried for the protection of the individual alone, but the shield protects every man in the line.
By committing to the team, you grow stronger. By committing to something bigger than yourself, you suddenly have the responsibility to protect others, to work beyond the boundaries of yourself. In this, bigger success can be had.
Tying This Back to Business
I was interviewed and asked about how a larger business would think positively or otherwise about the messages and story lines of The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth. I replied quite honestly that many businesses suffer from a passion problem. They hired for competence, but that’s no measure of someone’s passion or their desire to serve a greater good than one’s self. To me, that code, that ethos, that belief system that goes beyond the individual worker just hoping to squeak by, get a decent review and maybe a 3% raise (or at least not fired) is what separates the passionate freak from the average person.
That’s the problem right there, actually. We keep seeking the average.
Maybe the time for average has passed.
I committed myself and my energies to some people today. I’m building a very small and very strong league of champions right now, and gathering my allies close.
The next economy centers around personal business, and to survive the storm (for all economic shifts come with a vast retrenching of resources and wealth), passionate people will need to hold the shields beside ours, and hold fast.