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Creative Courage by Welby Altidor

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CHAPTER

2

Care First

Respect Is Not the First Step When Disengagement Is the Status Quo

Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.

Simone Weil 1

I. Raising the Curtain

The most prevalent example of the war on imagination at work finds its expression in the disengagement that executives and other employees can feel and act on. Left unchecked, disengagement becomes the status quo and leads to a vicious circle. When we shut down, we create a lack of transparency and a scarcity of open communication, work in silos festers, and cynicism affects everyone in a downward spiral. The word disengagement has profound implications, not only for weakening the potential that exists in our work but also the greater context of our social and economic fabric. From my standpoint, to be disengaged means to be disconnected and skeptical of our ability to create positive change in our lives or to have a positive contribution to our environment. In other words, to be disengaged is to let go of our creative courage. We accept internally and collectively the belief that we can’t change our lives, the sources of our pain, and the challenges or problems ahead of us. We disengage from our potential to create and innovate.

Let’s use our imagination and pretend for a moment that we are in Paris. It’s February 13, 2017, on the eve of Valentine’s Day in the Western world and some Asian countries as well. It’s also nighttime, and riots are happening in two neighborhoods on the city’s edges. Here, ...

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