Karl Marx found in capitalism a huge source of workers’ alienation. It’s still a huge issue at present, if not more than ever. Open Leadership de-alienates.
Alienation, briefly: not being in deep contact.
Since any true contact with anything / anyone starts from deep and goes to deep, one may say that this is primarily a turn inside. No navel-gazing however. Actually, quite the contrary. The navel as one usually sees it is not standing in the way for a broader view on one’s total self.
Alienation is NOT making such true contact.
Alienation at work
lies in not feeling that one is doing a deeply interesting, fulfilling job. The result might still be OK but not the job by itself. It’s not something one might ever really want to do if not for the result.
For all the talk about motivation: in case of alienation, in order to keep doing the job, one needs ‘extrinsic’ motivation. About ‘intrinsic’ [see: There are no extrinsic or intrinsic motivations.’]
Alienation means: there is no ‘inner’ motivation. No fountain sprouts from a deeply inner well. Thus, it runs counter to the total human being. In the end, people want to make a difference. If they feel no possibility towards this, they feel alienated, utterly de-motivated.
Does technology alienate by default?
There is no morality inside machines. However, the way technology is being implemented time and again – in overshoot of rationalization as opposed to nature – has lead to many developments that indeed are alienating.
Social media is an interesting example of this: the way it’s brought-to-use leads to more superficiality, a hardening of ‘social’ relations and generally: alienation.
Enters Open Leadership
Main characteristic: ‘Opening’. It’s that straightforward? Not exactly, since what is meant here is an opening towards the subconceptual [see: ‘About ‘Subconceptual’].
Prosaic management-as-such leads to mechanization of things, machines, procedures, then even people, at the cost of those people themselves. In contrast to this, Open Leadership – in which I see the only purpose of any leadership – has only one major aim:
to join poetry to already present prose.
Management (prose) keeps being important, for sake of efficiency. But: efficient towards what? Eventually, without poetry, there is no ‘towards what’. There is alienation.
In addition to this, without a ‘towards what’, efficiency too goes down the drain. [see: ‘Burnout is a Long and Winding Road’]
Purpose at work
Outside and inside:
- Outside: in a clear perception of the worker that his work serves a humanly important goal. Call it ‘growth’.
-> He doesn’t cut stones. He’s building a cathedral.
- Inside: in a clear perception of the worker that in the immediacy of his job, ‘growth’ is at center stage.
-> He doesn’t cut stones. He puts his heart in every stone.
This makes each stone – symbolically – the worker himself: un-divided, in-dividualized.
An Open Leader encounters each co-worker – including himself – as a ‘total person’ who finds himself in every stone and in the cathedral.
So we arrive at an answer to Karl Marx:
“Not capitalism is the culprit, but the kind of capitalism that is devoid of deeper meaning and Open Leadership.”
With Open Leadership, present-day capital-ism may transform itself from inside out into a newly found human-ism. Capital serves human. Not: human serves capital.
According to me, although the present may show itself differently, we are heading towards Open Leadership. Eventually, people will not accept anything less.
Open Leadership de-alienates. Thus, it’s (much) more efficient than anything else. It’s the strongest option.
The future is Open.