Existentialism: The Importance Of Choices In Society

777 Words4 Pages
Existentialist philosophers understood the importance of choices. They recognized that as individuals, who we are is to a large extent an accumulation of all the choices, large and small, we’ve made through the years of our lives. External events and influences are important, too, but our choices are the most powerful lever we have to affect our lives. So, too for the companies. But who makes the vital choices that determine a firm’s very identity? Who says, “this is our purpose, not that. This is who we will be. This is why our customers and clients will prefer a world with us rather than without us”? These are questions a leader must own. While existence may be given, essence never is. The story, the meaning, the real significance must be made. As a leader, it is yours to create. Others, inside and outside the firm, will contribute in meaningful ways, but in the end, it is the leader who bears responsibility for the choices that are made. It is this responsibility that gives you a profound opportunity to shape your business and influence its destiny. Or Jean-Paul Sartre, a major exponent of existentialism, put it “Everything happens to every man as if the entire human race were staring at him and measuring itself by what he does. So every man ought to be asking himself, "Am I really a man who is entitled to act in such a way that the entire human race should be measuring itself by my actions? “And if he does not ask himself that, he masks his anguish. The anguish we are
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