The Utopian Manager

I just come back from a wonderful trip, from a country where organizations are run the entire workforce, with the support of a new breed of managers

What essentially characterizes these managers, compared to those who are at the helm of most of our companies today, is that they “work upon themselves”.

By this I mean that they have spent, and continue to spend, a lot of time alone, crafting their souls, building their characters, connecting themselves to the rest of the world. Typically,

  • they start the day reading some philosophy and taking care of their body by practicing yoga, Taï-chi or Chi-gong;
  • they meditate several times during the day, sometimes only for a few seconds;
  • they read some poetry every night before going to bed;
  • they connect with nature at least once a day, by gardening or walking into nature in silence;
  • they pay attention to what they eat, they avoid meat; they eat very slowly, able to masticate for minutes a grain of rice;
  • three or four times a week, they exercise a sport, more for the beauty of mastering bodily moves than to win or breaking a record;
  • at least once a week, they spend time crafting, with their hands, works of arts or playing a musical instrument;
  • They also dedicate weekly a few hours playing and dialoguing with children at a school; they are adepts of the Socratic dialogues

These regular practices help them to know and to appreciate themselves and others better.

They feel deeply that they are connected to others and the world. In fact, they experience that they are “one” with others and the world; they experience that there is no fundamental distinction between themselves and others, between themselves and what seems to surrounds them.

As a result, they are convinced that to be at the service of others is to be at their service. And they act accordingly.

This deep and almost “permanent work upon themselves” makes them adopt a way of being and managerial posture which is quite different from the one we see in most companies today, in our capitalist countries.

For example, they walk and move slowly, without rushing. They never seem to be under time pressure. They speak softly and bring calm in the groups. If they are men, they do not hide their feminine side, and vice versa.

Practically, their managerial posture is driven by a triple consciousness, what they call the 3 levels of consciousness: Human Dynamics Consciousness; Eco-systemic Consciousness and Evolutionary Purpose Consciousness

Laurent Ledoux

 The Utopian Manager : short intervention by Laurent Ledoux at UCL Seminar « Utopia for our times », organized by Philippe Van Parijs


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