RACA Journal Shamus Rennie 60years - Page 17

“ We believe that every business has a responsibility and opportunity to contribute to real transformation. „ wage earner earns? How can one person offer that much value? What if people were recognised for the value they added, and they had an opportunity to grow that value in a trusting environment? What if the profit was shared on that value basis? These are some of the ideas that drive the recent establishment of our non-profit organisation, aptly named “Yeoman Service” after James Rennie’s involvement in the Imperial Yeomanry. We have a long-term view to take the learning that we have been through with regards to progressive management structures and building a culture based on trust, and create an entity that can take these ideas out into the South African workplace. It’s a long way from HVAC, but something we believe can add value to the industry and the business world in our country, hopefully positively impacting people on the way, and helping those people take more responsibility for themselves. The magic must come from both sides. The organisation must be willing to be open to new ways of working with capitalism, and the individual must be being willing to take more responsibility. These words from Jordan Peterson speak of this responsibility: “The fundamental issue is that life is difficult and tragic for everyone. It is tainted by malevolence because no matter how bad things are there is always something else that you or someone else could do to make it worse than it has to be. That’s life. And you need an antidote to that or it will embitter you. The tragedy combined with betrayal and malevolence makes it even worse. Especially if it is self-induced! You need something to set yourself against that so that you don’t get bitter and resentful. What do you set against that? DOING SOMETHING WORTHWHILE! By your own definition. You need a reason to get out of bed on a terrible day because you have something good to do. So, what is the best that you can do? Transcend your current and wretched miserable self. There is meaning to find in this. And the meaning is found in that responsibility. One of thing I have been trying to lay out is: Life is hard; it is tainted by malevolence and betrayal; that can make you bitter. You need a meaning to offset that. Where is that meaning to be found? Not in rights. Not in impulsive pleasures. But in responsibility. You As much as our country’s government has failed its people and left business bitter and resentful, we believe that every business has a responsibility and opportunity to contribute to real transformation. Doing the right things for the right reasons and slowly, business by business, we could make this country the place it deserves to be. And this is without even considering the contribution we could make by just not partaking in anything underhand or immoral. There is huge opportunity in sharing. Capitalism works but it results in natural hierarchies based on individuals’ skills and opportunities. These hierarchies are entrenched by ego and greed, effectively reducing opportunities for others. Imagine a capitalism that could exist if people at the top were willing to share. Why should the CEO earn 254 times what the average www.shamusrennie.co.za • 0860 SHAMUS SHAMUS RENNIE • 60 YEARS • A THIRD GENERATION FAMILY BUSINESS • 15 the result is a semi-conscious organisation. An organisation is our own little ‘country’ (sometimes not so little, and sometimes more profitable than a country) and one in which you can create your own rules. Most work environments do nothing to explore the potential of the human being. Decisions are generally based on profit that dehumanise people and restrict their growth and possible contribution. It has intrigued us at Shamus Rennie to get that magic mix that allows people to bring their whole personality to work, to make new and meaningful contributions and to be profitable at the same time. What drives us at Shamus Rennie is human potential. We look at the individuals that make up our business and are often amazed that they have no idea of what their true potential is. We are continually inspired to find ways of unlocking that potential. It is not a process that derives much acknowledgement or thanks, and our results have been less than anticipated but it is one that we are inspired to continue with. It is remarkable how often that unlocking never occurs because the leadership or the environment is wrong, and the trust is never developed to the point at which the magic can occur. It is much like our country. We have so much potential as a people. So many diverse backgrounds and strengths that if only they could be harnessed by the right leadership we could become a world power in anything that we choose. The situation, however, like a business, always comes down to leadership. Leaders growing other leaders. Leaders creating visions and unlocking ideas and contributions from others. Leaders growing trust and common ground. Leaders willing to share and sacrifice for the betterment of all.