One I Watch: Tim Leberecht

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What a great name, I thought when I met this fellow German-American at OuiShare Fest in May, and how he seems to be living up to it.  To live right.

Tim’s doing an interesting tightrope walk. In written form and speaking live, he shows up in all kinds of business and tech spaces, like Fortune and Fast Company… and all the corresponding conferences that have words like “innovation,” “tech,” “digital,” “leader,” “future,” etc. in their names. Yawn.

But what Tim talks about in those spaces is humanity, beauty, love. He focuses on things like enchantment (in the Harvard Business Review) and the sacred, in an essay after the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris :

To combat religious extremism, we need more religion, not less. We need more sacred spaces, not less: spaces for introspection, reflection, and pure, emotional presence. We need more spaces where we can be alone with our loneliness and appreciate it as the foundation for meaningful connections with the other.

We must reclaim these sacred spaces from technology that aims to further secularize our societies through scientific, data-based evidence, the “objectification,” the quantification of everything, and from the religious extremists who want to force a friend-or-foe world view on us and bomb us back into the dark ages. We should allow neither to discredit an old human ritual of meditation that transcends religion in a traditional sense and has everything to do with religion as “connection” (which is the literal meaning of the original Latin term). Whether we’re religious or not, a prayer is the acknowledgment of something greater than ourselves. It is a ritual that allows us to create space for hope even in the tiniest prison, including the prison of our mind. Without hope we have nothing.

We must not be afraid of religion, of leaps of faith, of believing without evidence. We must not fear falling for something, not fear falling in love, with ideas or people, or our own desires. We need more mystery and enchantment, and in a world so cold and complex, warm and fuzzy is not a naïve response, but a moral obligation that creates more shades of meaning.

May he continue to infiltrate the business space with his profound, heartfelt thinking.



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