I listened to Warren Rustand speak on Leadership to the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation event in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia last week. Warren is a man who has fit the experiences of several lifetimes into his own – he has been in public service, in academia, involved in not-for-profits and has been chairman or CEO of 17 organisations.
He spoke of the seven blunders of the world, a handwritten note by Gandhi that he gave to his grandson Arun on their final day together, not too long before his assassination. These seven blunders are the roots of violence.
- Wealth without work
- Pleasure without conscience
- Knowledge without character
- Commerce without morality
- Science without humanity
- Worship without sacrifice
- Politics without principle
An eighth was added by Ghandhi’s grandson:
- Rights without Responsiblities.
Number eight underlies the rest of Gandhi’s “blunders”.
The message from Warren’s session on leadership was that life comes with responsibilities. If I see the future clearer than those around me, then I have a responsibility. If I feel more confident about the situation, then I have a responsibility. If I know more than those around me, then I have a responsibility. If I have a comfortable life, a roof over my head and food on my table, then I also have responsibilities.
Scary. I can’t choose to opt out.