Enough is more than a word in my vocabulary. My earliest childhood memories include wearing secondhand clothing and eating meals from produce grown in our garden. Enough meant sharing with neighbors or anyone in need. We weren’t wealthy or poor; we always had enough.
Today’s leaders are more likely to view the concept of “enough” in very different terms. Based on actions and reactions to market forces their mantra seems more like “there isn’t enough for everyone.” Power and privilege is seen as a scarce commodity to be retained and consolidated. Profits may come at the expense of employees, customers, or the environment.
The idea that “more is always better” is why leaders often acquire and accumulate. It’s why they pay so little attention to what they already have. If our goal is getting more, then having enough requires growth – in possessions, control, and money. Enough becomes something we can never achieve.
What if leaders shifted their perspectives about enough? Suppose they acknowledged that every resource at their disposal – employees, profits, market share – are a precious relationship that demands respect, love, and care? Might it change how decisions are made and business gets done?
Leaders who embrace this new understanding of enough might be more inspired to share.
They might finally acknowledge the contributions of others. Perhaps they would be encouraged to collaborate. Surely there would be more emphasis on innovation.
Former CBS Evening News anchor, Walter Cronkite, used to end each broadcast with this signature tagline, “That’s the way it is.” I’m afraid too many leaders use this as an excuse when faced with the decision between “more” or “enough.” But leaders do have choices.
When leaders deepen relationships, appreciate the resources they already have, and creatively share in ways that do the most good for employees and customers, things can change. We can all be inspired to appreciate in new ways the power of having enough.