Faster, higher, further, more?

 

Sometimes it can be quite exhausting to develop oneself or one's own company. Success usually means moving upwards like a single-minded arrow: faster, higher, further, more. All this can be measured in seconds, metres, quantities and percentages and expressed with numbers.

My father was an insurance salesman in the field for 40 years. I remember how, as children, we sat together with him and my mother at the dining table when the top superiors came for the obligatory annual feedback before Christmas. They told my father, in the presence of his family, what percentage of new business he had achieved last year and how much more it could have been if he hadn't spent so much time with his customers.

A few months ago, he told me - now over 80 years old - how he started as an insurance salesman: "All beginnings are difficult, but a good seed grows. It just takes time." He perceived his clients as people, listened to them and accompanied many of them throughout their lives. His customers trusted him, had in him a partner who advised them honestly in their interests and at the same time worked for the good of his company.

Which good seeds do we plant in a time when it seems as if everything is happening faster and faster as if the possibilities for economic success are becoming narrower and narrower and can only be achieved by playing hardball? 

When a lot is changing all around, it is easy to overlook that it requires enormous potential to change oneself in such a way that what I or the company stand/s for REMAINS. How would it be if we used this potential for something other than "faster", "higher", "further", "more"? Development geared towards a "different" requires the will to explore curiously, to involve others and engage in exchange, to bring creativity into play, to think anew ... None of this can be counted, but the seed is growing.