Business as Art? Is there a human side?
You know, there are a lot of sort of clichés and there are a lot of, you know what I call them, ideas du jour that go into business. And certainly a more humanistic way of managing sort of swept through the business world. Until, until the financial people took over as CEOs. You know in the old days, people who made the product became CEOs and became, the people who sell the product became CEO. And now it’s the people who keep the numbers who are made the CEOs. And it also is driven very much by this incessant pressure for earnings. So I think that that’s been, that’s had a negative impact on organizations. The one I used to work for is much less people-oriented than it used to be. Good people there, they’re just a different culture. I do think that there are still organizations, still companies, I get called to speak to them, who try their best to do what I call servant leadership. That is they are servants to their employees. They realize that giving the employees the tools and support they need to do the job will allow them to do a good job and thus produce for the company. They realize that if you have a company that’s trying to serve people somehow, whether you’re carrying them on an airline or serving them coffee, that you can’t do that unless the people are committed to what they’re doing. And they won’t be committed to what they’re doing unless they’re valued for what they’re doing. And they can’t be valued unless you nurture them and support them and give them the tools and encouragement they need.
Poet and former publishing executive James Autry joins Bill (Moyers) to talk about issues of art and of heart. He shares his poems with Bill and discusses his and his wife Sally’s challenging but inspiring experience raising their autistic child.