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THE FALLACY OF LOYALTY

THE FALLACY OF LOYALTY

Corporate loyalty – the idea that you should be loyal to a corporation and it should be loyal to you – is a lie, at best a benign illusion that belongs to the past; at worst, a crude attempt at manipulation and a denial of the virtues of the market. But there are other kinds of loyalty, and these are the essence of good living. The Fallacy of Corporate Loyalty When I joined Shell International –...

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TOWARDS THE POST-PROTESTANT WORK ETHIC

TOWARDS THE POST-PROTESTANT WORK ETHIC

Guest Post by Marx Acosta-Rubio Can we get beyond the Protestant work ethic, which Richard damned, in a recent post? Richard says that hard work does not equal success, and isn’t even desirable. IF hard work isn’t the key to success, then what is? But I’d like to propose something different – the ‘Post-Protestant Work Ethic’. 1. Maybe we need to redefine the term “work” Work has been termed a...

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IN PRAISE OF INACTION

IN PRAISE OF INACTION

“I’ve looked in history for heroes who became heroes for what they did not do, but it is hard to observe nonaction; I could not easily find any.”  The inimitable Nicholas Nassim Taleb, of course. Here are three off the top of my head. Probably the greatest was Otto von Bismarck, Chancellor – prime minister – of Prussia from 1862, then in supreme power for twenty-seven years, as Prussia mutated...

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KOCH & PETERSON ON FRIENDS

KOCH & PETERSON ON FRIENDS

“Without relationships we are either dead to the world – or dead. Although banal, this is true: friendships are at the heart of our lives … what on earth has this got to do with the 80/20 principle?  The answer is quite a lot.  There is a trade-off between quality and quantity and we consistently under-cultivate what is most important.” “If you have a friend whose friendship you wouldn’t...

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LIBERATE YOURSELF FROM THE PROTESTANT WORK ETHIC

LIBERATE YOURSELF FROM THE PROTESTANT WORK ETHIC

What do you detest?  There will be many different answers from you all.  But I bet that none of you have this rather eccentric answer of mine – I detest the Protestant work ethic. Now, this may seem strange.  The Protestant ethic was discussed in a seminal series of articles by the great German sociologist, Max Weber, in 1904-5.  Weber argued that Protestantism glorified the calling of workers...

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SAINTS ANCIENT & MODERN

SAINTS ANCIENT & MODERN

In researching my next book, I’ve taken nineteen people, some dead, some alive, who were in my opinion, “unreasonably successful” – that is, they achieved much more than might have been expected of them, and in some cases despite, or because of, marked character flaws.  What has struck me as worthy of comment – though this is not a theme of the book – is how two of the most important and saintly...

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