Peter Rea, VP integrity and ethics at Parker Hannifin
When workers at a factory in Tijuana Mexico were asked what could be done to make their lives better, their surprising request was that their leaders focus not on them but on those who lived in neighbouring areas in dire poverty.
Is this just a nice story or is there a business case?
It turns out that the relationship between engagement and financial results is well documented. The Tijuana team at Fortune 250 company, Parker Hannifin, had the highest engagement scores and financial results.
Parker now operates a business underpinned by character-based virtues to protect its culture and create competitive advantage. Virtues provide a forum to unite rather than divide people and people practice virtue not because they have to, but because they want to.
The world tells us we should pursue self-interest: career wins, high status, nice things. But at some point, in our lives, we may find that we’re not interested in what other people tell us to want. We want the things that are truly worth wanting. This is the second mountain, when life moves from self-centered to other centered.
What does it mean to look beyond yourself and find a moral cause? To forget about independence and discover dependence – to be utterly enmeshed in a web of warm relationships?
In The Second Mountain David Brooks explores the meaning and possibilities that scaling a second mountain offer us, and the four commitments that most commonly move us there: family, vocation, philosophy and community.
He looks at a range of people who have embraced the necessity of dependence and have lived joyous, committed lives. He gathers their wisdom on how to choose a partner, how to pick a vocation, how to live out a philosophy, and how we can begin to integrate our commitments into one overriding purpose.