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Out of Our Minds
Monday, August 09, 2004 7:15 AM
Why We're Here
Kevin Salwen on Making a Difference

I have been on the road a ton lately and it's given me the opportunity to talk about Worthwhile to a host of new groups and people. In introducing the concept of the magazine (and of course this site), I typically offer up 3 sentences of general intro:
1. Worthwhile is a new business lifestyle magazine for people who want their careers to mean more than a paycheck.
2. So, we offer ideas and role models for professionals and executives to inject more meaning, passion and fulfillment into their worklives.
3. Increasingly, smart companies know that to gain the loyalty of their employees and customers they have to appeal to that deeper need instead of just financial results, so they are going back to -- and expressing -- their core values in a passionate way.

What often comes next is a discussion of how things are changing in workplaces all around America. People so often tell me how they are taking control over their own worklives (and by extension their lives), either by standing up for something at their offices or bailing out to join or start their own organization that matches their values. And at the most senior levels of companies, I hear repeatedly about new ways of thinking, about caring about doing well by doing good (yes, some of it is lip-service, but I'm inspired about how much is real). If you haven't seen what is going on at companies like Interface, Seventh Generation, Clif Bar, and, yes, huge companies like Gap Inc. and H-P, then you're not paying attention.

The next generation of business leaders is developing right now. They have heart and soul as well as brains. They wear their values on their chests and talk about ideas that were seen 10 years ago as 'the soft stuff.' They know how to make money AND lead with inspiration fueled by core values.

I can't tell you how thrilled I am to be part of creating the magazine that brings it front and center.


Mitra Ardron - 8/16/2004 6:54:03 AM
Good to see this, I'm just bringing together a group of local business leaders in Byron Bay (Australia) who feel this way and want to connect with others who have to balance on a daily basis being economically viable, with doing the right thing for the environment, their communities, and their employees/suppliers etc.

A magazine like this could be really usefull in helping that sharing.
Jack Quinn - 8/13/2004 10:34:05 PM
Bravo, Fran. Excellent advice. Don't wait for someone to do something for you, to discover your wonderful talents and value, to notice that you exist. The time you feel comfortable and competent in a new position is the right time to start going after your next best move. Nobody cares about your career success except you. We are responsible for our own effects in life.
Fran - 8/10/2004 9:27:17 AM
As a serial job switcher, I have to say to Mindwalker that it will never be a 'good' time to shake up your life and change jobs. Whenever I have made a move, it has been a tough decision and taken all the courage I've had. My parents chimed in every single time saying, 'with the economy so bad do you think should be doing this?' Without exception, each move has been a step in the right direction. So I say to you, have courage, believe in yourself, do your research and homework as to what next in your career and don't wait for the 'Great Recalibration' to come to you.
Mindwalker - 8/9/2004 11:54:33 AM
What really matters? At my large employer, it's ... well, I just don't know. I think what really matters is the bottom line - not just in terms of financials, but in *thinking* and *acting*.

* No, you can't take training classes. We can't invest in you because there's no money for training this year. But hey, please come to the party we're throwing to celebrate .

* You know, it's noticed by others that you leave everyday at 5.00. You should be working longer hours because ... well, hey, everyone else is.

* Whatever you say, always know that X-person and Y-person can always overrule because ... well, they can. And do.

* Always remember to be as flexible as possible, even if it's to the point you snap in half. Anything that was decided last week or a day ago can and will always be changed. Change is loss, after all.

The soulessness is mind-numbing. I could easily leave, sure, but I also just got engaged and have a wedding to pay for in a year. It's not exactly the most opportune moment to switch careers or jobs.

Besides, would it be any different elsewhere? I've heard so much talk about values and culture -- even from small-shop entrepreneurs -- that turns out to have been complete falsehoods.

The Great Recalibration can't come soon enough.
Kevin - 8/9/2004 8:41:09 AM
The Great Recalibration is a marvelous phrase.
Halley - 8/9/2004 8:37:24 AM
Kevin = Love what you say here and my recent experience is very similar as I talk to people about Worthwhile the magazine about to be born and what work and life mean to them.

I keep coming back to a common theme -- that 9/11 made many people reevaluate EVERYTHING in their lives -- their work, their partners, their health, their families, their values across the board.

It was soul-shaking moment for most of us to be sure, but it was also very life-affirming and gave us pause to answer the question, 'what really matters?' Individuals and companies and organizations and collectives of all sorts and shapes are looking at what they value and what is a worthwhile use of their time and energy on this earth. I'm tempted to call it the 'Great Recalibration' when I hear people talk about the new ways they've decided to measure their idea of a successful life.



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