Throw off the yoke and get yourself a life

Everywhere we look, we see the words culture, balance and stress. Seemingly out of nowhere, business leaders are realising the...

Everywhere we look, we see the words culture, balance and stress. Seemingly out of nowhere, business leaders are realising the importance of releasing the true potential, and total power, of their people

David Taylor

Inside track

Everywhere we listen, we hear people say there is more to life than work, indeed more to life than they are living.

Yet, despite the talk, and some positive examples, we continue to work harder than ever. In IT, we rush around in circles, on multiple projects with no real definition, and certainly no real benefit. We often look like no more than a bunch of well meaning individuals stumbling through minefields in pursuit of an ill-defined goal.

Just as we realise we need to slow down, we speed up. In IT, we have designed technologies aimed at making our lives so much easier, but now it is having the reverse effect. It is their ease of use that lies at the heart of the cause. Every day we are bombarded with e-mails, pagers and mobile phones - IT has now enabled people to be contacted wherever they are - there is no respite.

The turn of the century brings with it an opportunity to shape a new era of personal and business thinking, based on the simple premise that the future is not what it used to be.

It is a future based on simplicity of purpose, on success being measured not by material possessions, but by contribution, and on people discovering what they really want to do, and who they really are.

It is a way of life in which we take back control of our own lives, in which:

  • Companies realise the only way people will give their best, is if they want to

  • We recognise that there are more important things than physical possessions

  • We fulfil the demands of our work without being controlled by it

  • People are valued as free spirits, with ideas and imaginations

  • Humans truly become "beings" rather than "doings".

    Thousands of people are realising there is more to life than their present realities, and that to reclaim their true selves does not mean having to "drop out", indeed, quite the reverse. It means reaching new levels of energy, focus and contentment.

    The biggest enabler of this happening now, is of course the Internet, driven by people's desire to communicate with other people. As people will always have a desire to communicate, so they will always yearn to understand who they really are, and why they are here.

    Many leaders now talk openly about this new business age, some referring to it as the spiritual revolution. The mind, body and spirit sections of bookshops now outsell most others, and many of them cover themes just as applicable in the business world.

    The great irony for those with a focus on finance is this: by releasing people's energy and by improving the real quality of life for their staff, companies will be bound to improve their bottom line, it will be automatic.

    At last, organisations are waking up to the fact that without their people they are nothing.

    As I have said, there is more to life than work. Our lives to date have been but a blade of grass compared to what we can be. I urge you all to throw off the layers of dust, and start to discover who you really are, no matter how well it may be hidden.

    David Taylor is president of the association of IT directors Certus

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