How Being a Good Entrepreneur Means Being a Good Parent

All life starts fused with its parents.

Look at how a healthy parent relates to their child. The parent is not using the child as an extension of their self to meet their goals and their needs.  It’s not "I want my child to be a doctor when he grows up because that will meet my fantasy, my need." Rather, the healthy parent knows their job is to support the child finding the child’s calling in life, unfolding the child’s path in life, to get their own stuff out of the way. 


I think we have the same opportunity with our organizations. How can we help our organization tune into its purpose in life, its highest creative potential, what it can bring into the world, what it’s uniquely situated to help create or unfold into the world and then how do you we get us out of the way? 

So it’s no longer about serving it.  It’s about differentiating from it, so we can show up fully autonomously ourselves with our own path and purpose in the world and be part of its journey like the healthy parent to the child finding a new relationship to help it unfold its path in the world.  

So this purpose we’re tuning into for our company I call it an evolutionary purpose.  What we’re looking for is its deepest creative potential to bring something new to life, to create, to help unfold something new in the world. 

What all of my work is about is helping get everything out of the way of that creative impulse expressing in the world.  This is what I might call a transpersonal model of organizations.  It’s actually not about us.  It happens through us, but it’s not for us.  This purpose here is not to serve any of us, not even all of us.  It’s to create something in the world.  It is transpersonal.  

To express this evolutionary purpose of the organization we need concrete systems and structures throughout that help us humans recognize when we are stuck in our own stuff or our own attachments or our own ego, and to get it out of the way. And the challenge of that of course is we all show up, even the best of us at times, stuck in our own ego, desires, and we project them on the organization and we try to use the organization to meet them. 

This is especially true for people like myself who have founded organization, entrepreneurs.  There is a common fusion that happens and it’s natural to some degree.  All life starts fused with its parents.  All life comes into the world that way, but the opportunity of course to differentiate from it and let it stand on its own is pretty cool.

To do that throughout an organization we need a way to not just differentiate from the founder’s ego, but from everyone’s within, from all of the leaders, all of the individuals showing up in that organization so that we all can channel our best creative capacity into that endeavor while owning our own autonomy without losing ourselves in the process.  It’s not about giving up ourselves to the organization.  It’s about finding a new relationship that lets us have a voice, but that protects the organization from our ego and our domination and that’s what all of the meeting processes and methods and decisions making systems they’re all designed to give us a distributed power system that let us show up fully and authentically in service of something larger than ourselves in a way that we cannot dominate and project upon and use the organization, but rather the organization stays liberated, defined and expressed its highest calling in the world.  

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

This is the best (and simplest) world map of religions

Both panoramic and detailed, this infographic manages to show both the size and distribution of world religions.

(c) CLO / Carrie Osgood
Strange Maps
  • At a glance, this map shows both the size and distribution of world religions.
  • See how religions mix at both national and regional level.
  • There's one country in the Americas without a Christian majority – which?
Keep reading Show less

Apparently even NASA is wrong about which planet is closest to Earth

Three scientists publish a paper proving that Mercury, not Venus, is the closest planet to Earth.

Strange Maps
  • Earth is the third planet from the Sun, so our closest neighbor must be planet two or four, right?
  • Wrong! Neither Venus nor Mars is the right answer.
  • Three scientists ran the numbers. In this YouTube video, one of them explains why our nearest neighbor is... Mercury!
Keep reading Show less

Remembering when bankers tried to overthrow FDR and install a fascist dictator

When FDR took office, the U.S. was in the grips of the Great Depression. People had grown desperate, and FDR's election seemed disastrous. Some wealthy bankers believed that it was time to take the country by force.

Image source: Topical Press Agency / Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Though we know today that his policies eventually ended the Great Depression, FDR's election was seen as disastrous by some.
  • A group of wealthy bankers decided to take things into their own hands; they plotted a coup against FDR, hoping to install a fascist dictator in its stead.
  • Ultimately, the coup was brought to light by General Smedley Butler and squashed before it could get off the ground.
Keep reading Show less