March 2012
A Business Practice as Practice

In his notable work, MASTERY, George Leonard teaches us how to ride the plateaus in life, and how not to seek the thrills of climax, but to inhabit the practice itself.  What would happen if we approached business this way, as a practice?

As our company enters its 21st year, I ponder the role of business person as artisan and craftsperson, one who assiduously applies daily attention to his trade.  Do you feel we’ve lost some of that in business?  That we don’t appreciate the fine-grained refining of our skills in brow-dripping service not to results, but to the inch-by-inchness of the craft itself? To borrow a line from Wallace Stevens: “Not about the thing but the thing itself.”

The word “practice” has inched into our lexicon these days, and everyone is talking about practice. But we don’t have to have a yoga mat or meditation cushion to have a practice. How do we learn to love the daily work that we do, to get inside it and love it from the inside out, and to live our work as our practice?