Beyond the Fed - From Federal ShutDown to Start Up

08/10/2013 14:02 BST | Updated 03/12/2013 10:12 GMT


From Federal Shutdown to Start Up

So America has a Federal Shutdown ... at least partially ... paralysed because those supposedly responsible for leading the country have put egos and self-interest before all else.

As a result, more than 800,000 federal workers who thought themselves in safe government jobs are kicking their heels at home, waiting to be called back to work, with no certainty they'll be paid for their enforced layoff. Americans are at best inconvenienced, and the country's economy is being further undermined with each passing second.

While the current situation in the US is peculiar to its political system, Britain suffered comparable nationwide shutdowns when the serial strikes of 30 or 40 years ago - also brought about by self-interest - used to bring the country to a virtual standstill.

These are games that seldom have winners.

On the other hand, while self-interest divides, shared values - the overarching principles against which we can measure what we do - unite. Sadly, those values are rarely at the centre of our thinking.

The recent worldwide financial crisis, Libor rate fixing, disproportionate banking bonuses and much more besides, reveal them to be absent from many walks of life. That has left many professionals forced to conform to dubious corporate principles that run counter to what they believe, and it's made them uncomfortable.

Undoubtedly, it is exceptionally difficult to swim against the tide and influence the values of corporate organisations - small cogs in big wheels are rarely listened to. So events such as the Federal Shutdown and in the City often serve to reinforce the sense of helplessness that many feel when it comes to the kind of society we operate in.

But whether we are talking about a nation, or an organisation, things can change for the better when values are brought to the fore and realigned, helping to heal and resolve personal ideological differences.

While general elections give us the opportunity to influence, at least to a small degree, the world in which we live, there's another way in which we can use our personal values to make the world a better place, and that's to set up a business that's based upon them. Do this, and suddenly you're no longer a lone voice because you have a platform for your message, and customers who will be your happy and willing advocates.

Many ex-corporate workers, discomforted by the actions of the companies they once worked for, are seeing the perfect opportunity for their own corporate escape in becoming caring 'new entrepreneurs'.

Such businesses, driven by an individual's own values, increasingly resonate with consumers, helping to turn them from small start-ups into vibrant, dynamic and ethical companies. As a result, they grow. These enterprises, built on enthusiasms, passions and interests rather than a 'profit at any price' model, will have an increasing impact.

And technology is working in their favour, allowing them to be run from anywhere, but with a potential client base that embraces the world. There really has never been a better time to seize the initiative and set up on your own.

By picking up the gauntlet and taking on the challenge of setting up a value-rich business, you'll be doing your bit to help shift the collective consciousness, away from self-interest, towards one where individuals take increasing responsibility for their own actions, living lives and running businesses that are based on ethics and excellence.

Then the story will become not so much about 'me and you', but about 'us.'

By Maite Barón, The Corporate Escape Coach™, author of 'Corporate Escape: the Rise of the New Entrepreneur' and CEO of The Corporate Escape,™ which helps 40+ professionals and executives transition from employee to business owners. She is also a CTT Certified Consultant using the tools and resources from Barrett Values Centre to support her clients in their personal, leadership and cultural transformation. These tools have been used to measure the values of over 6,000 organisations and 3,000 leaders in 80 countries and foster the transformation of corporations, communities, and nations. Download two free chapters of Corporate Escape: the Rise of the New Entrepreneur' and find out how you can make your own own corporate escape.

This Article was first posted of Corporate Escape Blog