I was very delighted to have my Open Letter to CXOs post mentioned today in David Batstone’s newsletter the WAG (Worthwhile and Gain). I first heard David in a teleclass led by the coaching giant Andrea Lee and was very impressed with him. Among many other things, he is the National Endowment for the Humanities Chair at the University of San Francisco, Senior Editor at Worthwhile magazine and Executive Editor of Sojourners magazine. He was also a founding editor of Business 2.0 magazine, and has been a contributor to Wired, Spin, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune and The San Francisco Chronicle.
Despite all this amazing press background, what really drew me to David were some uncanny similarities in our early career paths. He spent 10 years doing economic development and human rights work in Latin America, then went on to work in niche investment banking and entrepreneurship. I majored in International Service and Development with a focus in non-formal education in Latin America, then made a similar leap to the corporate world. Obviously our paths diverged at that point as David went on to great journalistic heights and I, well, am still working on it! But it just felt good to know that someone else had lived the often stark difference in realities between life in Latin America and the halls of large corporations.
I highly recommend his book Saving the Corporate Soul. The excerpt explains:
"What is it about the modern corporation that makes joining it feel like we’re making a bargain with Mephisto for our soul?" And it is through this question that he takes the reader on a tour through the landscape of recent corporate successes and failures while, at the same time, providing tools, strategies and inspiration for the revitalization of corporations and the people in them. Batstone argues that it is not necessary to sacrifice ones soul while building corporate and personal success. He uses engaging case studies to outline strategies for corporations putting their structures at the service of the people they employ and serve. This book is for executives, managers, employees, entrepreneurs of every stripe and anyone who has ever cared about the activity and the entity toward which they focus perhaps the largest portion of their time."
One of my favorite things about writing this blog is introducing my readers to interesting and encouraging experts. Please check out David’s blog and let me know what you think.