Bigger than Business

  • Jeff Gibbard
  • 4 min read

“That doesn’t belong on Linkedin.”

Business and labor are fundamental components of our lives. Work is one of the primary places we spend our time and energy. The dominant function it occupies in our lives is to provide the necessities for survival, and so it is something we consciously think about. Yet, at the same time, its ubiquity causes it to resemble something akin to background radiation, or the ocean that fish unconsciously swim about in.

photo of underwater

Work is simultaneously everything, everywhere, all of the time, while also being remarkably personal, tangible, and within our daily experiences.

Talking about “what we do” is as natural as talking about the weather or what to eat for lunch. We often cannot imagine a world where business and labor are not primary factors any more than we can imagine our lives without food, water, or breathable air. We are used to it, conditioned to its presence and rules, and have developed a culture that reveres the very idea of work while giving it priority over other areas of life.

five person standing while talking each other

It is far more comfortable, in many circles to talk about work than it is to discuss many other topics of consequence. Even when the opportunity is seized to discuss important topics, it often has to be nested inside of considerations for how it may impact business and industry with a no-so-subtle implication of which takes precedence.

As Superhumans, we need to have the resilience to discuss less comfortable topics. As Superhumans, we have to stand for the things that are bigger than business. As Superhumans, we need to stand up to injustice anywhere and everywhere, and that includes Linkedin.

Priorities

I see concerning behavior on Linkedin all of the time.

  • It looks like people hiring outsourced teams to spam their contacts.
  • It looks like harassing black men and women in the comments.
  • It looks like tearing down confident women.
  • It looks like lying about success.

And yet, these behaviors persist and I’ve yet to see someone call that out as “not belonging on Linkedin.” Typically, I see a significant “both sides” argument about any of this. At best, I see a few justified “call outs” of the offending person.

May is both mental health awareness month, and the month in which it was leaked that the Supreme Court of the United States intends to overturn 50 years of settled law in order to rob women of their right to privacy and bodily autonomy. In the comments of posts about either topic, I have seen the same sentiment:

“This does not belong on Linkedin. This is a professional networking site.”

Women make up roughly half of the working population, and various issues related to work are among the leading causes of mental health issues.

It absolutely belongs on Linkedin.

I’ll say it again…Priorities

All businesses, every single one, are made up of human beings. These human beings do not cease to be human beings when they walk into the office or sign onto Zoom.

Any issue that affects human beings is a work issue and therefore belongs on Linkedin every bit as much as hunting for new sales opportunities. Not only that, but I would argue that anything that affects how human beings show up at work, is substantially more important than business.

  • Our right to bodily autonomy is more important than business.
  • Our right to privacy is more important than business.
  • Our mental health is more important than business.
  • Our physical health is more important than business.
  • Our dignity as human beings is more important than business.

If we want to have better work environments, be better leaders, and ensure that the work we do isn’t meaningless, then we have to pay attention to all of these conversations that impact humans. How can we not when it is directly connected to how we show up at work?

If something impacts people, then whatever is being talked about by those people is bigger than business. If anyone thinks that doesn’t belong on Linkedin, then maybe they don’t belong on Linkedin, because they don’t have the stomach for conversations of consequence.

Becoming Superhuman
Becoming Superhuman
Bigger than Business
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