Magnificence at Work
"Organizations are aiming too low. Pulled by numerous pressures for performance, managers have become overachievers in pragmatism but under-estimators of what creates worth and worthiness."
-John Dalla Costa
Are your profits good enough? Are your brands good enough? Are you good enough? Those are but a few of the questions that our January keynote speaker, John Dalla Costa threw out to the audience during his presentation. As an ethicist, consultant and internationally published author, Mr. Dalla Costa got the audience thinking hard on an early Tuesday morning.
And how do we get to our best? Mr. Dalla Costa suggested that the combination of morality and strategy creates the potential for magnificence. This is management as it is intended to be: achieving great results.
He went on to explain that magnificence is an outcome of integrity and is key to this journey of personal and professional betterment. Sounds easy, but when pressed to come up with a definition of integrity the audience provided as many definitions as there were individuals. To further complicate this matter none of the definitions could be argued against! If we all have varying definitions of integrity, how can our companies and our industries expect to have cohesive ideals and values or achieve magnificence? Mr. Dalla Costa’s latest book encourages us to not consider this a burden but a fulfillment:
"To aim for such high virtue is not so much an imposition as liberation – not another particularity of performance but a recalibration of professionalism to include the needs and assets of the soul.
Business people tend to identify themselves with what they do, deriving not just status but purpose and meaning from work, career and company relationships.
What we do to make a living is latent with possibilities then the everyday striving of magnificence is the basic norm and right of our average human lives."
Is mere financial profitability enough these days? Absolutely not. Are we moving towards a more socially responsible, ‘magnificent’ work environment? Absolutely. But are we bringing our best selves to the table every time? The answer to that is a personal one we must consider in our daily interactions and decisions- both personally and professionally- in order to lead the most fulfilling, worthy lives possible.
Carrie Dandy, M.A.
Sudler & Hennessey