Business is the most pervasive and influential force on the planet today. Its activities transcend national and international borders. Its activities are not unduly constrained by financial, political, cultural, ethnic, or religious concerns. The net of this is that business, as a prevalent and important force, has a moral responsibility to guide, enhance, value, and nourish the existence of all that it encounters. In the world today, the absolute opposite of this occurs. Business today seldom assesses the efficacy of its activities through the lens of anything but profit.
The true purpose of business is to uplift the experience of existing. It is not to make owners wealthy. It is not to produce ever-cheaper goods and services. It is not to keep an avaricious and toxic economic model afloat. And it is certainly not (with no apology to Milton Friedman) to make a profit.
From our perspective, business is nothing less than a spiritual discipline, it requires the same integrity, commitment, intentionality, courage, discipline, and compassion as any other spiritual discipline. Spiritual disciplines honor life, in all its forms, as having innate and intrinsic value simply because it exists. It’s the honoring of this value—the ennobling of this value—that is called forth when we approach business as a spiritual undertaking. It is the compassionate thing to do.
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Blaine Bartlett is the CEO and President of Seattle based Avatar Resources. He has coached and consulted worldwide with executives, companies, and governments and has developed and delivered training programs to almost 300,000 individuals that have collectively impacted close to one million people.
Blaine is an Adjunct Professor at Beijing University, is on the teaching faculty of the American Association for Physician Leadership, is Dean of Education at the World Business Academy, and sits on the Board of Directors of the World Business Academy and the Unstoppable Foundation. He is also on the Advisory Boards of the Tokyo based All Japan Management Coaching Association and the Beijing based Asia Coaching and Mentoring Association. He is also a member of the Transformational Leadership Council and a founding member of the Business Alliance for the Future. In addition, he is the founder of the Institute for Compassionate Capitalism and is a Knight of the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem Knights of Malta, the world’s oldest humanitarian organization.
He has been the subject of extensive interviews on the future of organizations published in the award winning Finnish business magazines Suomen Kuvalehti and Talouselämä, and has been featured in articles in the Japanese business journal Chi Chi and the Chinese language Business Week Asia. Blaine is co-author of Discover Your Inner Strength written in collaboration with Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard and Brian Tracy. His second book Three Dimensional Coaching was translated and published in China in 2014. His latest book is the best seller Compassionate Capitalism: A Journey to the Soul of Business.
For more information go to his website at blainebartlett.com, his company’s website at avatar-resources.com or to his blog at IdealsInMotion.com.