“When do you cease to be a CEO and become a grandfather?”

“If you don’t have a moral question in your governing process, you don’t have a process that’s gonna survive. That’s the governing law, the moral question. You must have a moral society or you won’t have any.” ~ Chief Lyons

Chief lyons

The following is a transcript from the video Indian Elder Speaks – Point of No Return, of Seneca Nations Chief Oren Lyons telling a story about a meeting he had with a group of CEOs…

I said, “As you’re coming down the final stretch, you are racing towards the finish, and there is the stone wall. And you’re not pulling your horse, you’re not stopping. Your’e in fact accelerating.”

I said, “That’s the way I see the use of what you call resources. You’re using them faster than they’re reproducing. And you’re headed towards that disaster, and none of you are pulling your horse.”

I said, “Take the example of a car race, they have a yellow flag. When there’s an accident, a yellow flag comes out, everybody get’s into line, they slow down. They have a concept about that, at least.”

I said, “Do you have a concept of a yellow flag? Is there a yellow flag amongst your ideas or your thinking?”

And one of the gentlemen, we’re all men [in the room], maybe 50 to 60, 65, and he said, “You know, I understand what you’re saying. But to answer your question, no, we can’t pull our horse as you say.”

“Because, ” he said, “we must show a profit, as a CEO I must show a profit. If I don’t show a profit I’m fired. Simple as that, I’m out of a job. I have to show a profit.”

I said, “To who?”

He said, “To you, the stockholder.”

I said, “Well, are you married?”

He said, “Yes I am.”

I said, “Do you have children?”

He said, “Yes I do.”

I said, “Do you have any grandchildren?”

He said, “I have two, two boys.”

I said, “When do you cease to be a CEO and become a grandfather?”

There was a lot of silence there, because that was a moral question. If you don’t have a moral question in your governing process, you don’t have a process that’s gonna survive. That’s the governing law, the moral question. You must have a moral society or you won’t have any…

He couldn’t answer the question and neither could anyone else, because it was a moral question. That’s what we must get back to.

So they said, “Look, you’re an Indian, and we keep hearing about Indian prophecies. Can you give us a prophecy? Can you tell us a prophecy?”

At that particular moment I said, “Certainly I can. And I can guarantee it.”

They said, “Really, what is it?”

I said, “Next year you’ll meet and nothing will have changed.”

Again there was silence.

We’re moving in a very direct line to that stone wall. I do not believe personally that we have passed the line, or the point of no return. But we’re approaching it. And every day that you don’t do what’s right is a day when you’ve lost an option. And you’re losing your options every day.

Related:

The Circle of Courage – Native American Model of Education

About Christopher Chase

Co-creator and Admin of the Facebook pages "Tao & Zen" "Art of Learning" & "Creative Systems Thinking." Majored in Studio Art at SUNY, Oneonta. Graduated in 1993 from the Child & Adolescent Development program at Stanford University's School of Education. Since 1994, have been teaching at Seinan Gakuin University, in Fukuoka, Japan.
This entry was posted in Creative Systems Thinking and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to “When do you cease to be a CEO and become a grandfather?”

  1. Pingback: Let a Child’s Spirit Be Free to Unfold – M. Montessori | Creative by Nature

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s