Not too long ago, I put up this paper collage on Instagram with a jokey caption about wanting to found a new country, and already having a flag for it. People loved the idea, and soon enough we’d come up with a couple of laws for this country, like Uber drivers having to drive vintage sportscars, and double pay for artists, and the whole things would be run as a Creatorship. That kind of thing.
After the shock results of the US election came in, one of my Insta friends rather poignantly brought up the idea of joining my new country again, which made me think a bit more about this idea.
For a while, I’ve been working through Ari Weinzweig’s “Lapsed Anarchist” series of business books, about how to work at creating a business culture that grows and benefits everyone involved, and it occurred to me that building a conscious, well-run business is a bit like running your own little country. Just a little nation state, perhaps (and hopefully one that is wealthy beyond imagining), but what I’m getting at is that there’s a lot more to being a business owner than just figuring out how to make something that will bring in enough money to pay the rent and salaries, and a bit of profit. It’s an extraordinary opportunity to create a culture, a set of values under which you and your team agree to operate, hopefully to the benefit and enjoyment of all the participants. And doing it well requires reflective, active leadership that requires a lot of hard work. It’s a big responsibility.
As Trump’s win has sunk in, and as South Africans continue to experience the fallout of our own crisis of leadership, I thought that it would serve me well to reflect on myself as a leader. What kind of culture are we building at Skinny laMinx, and what can I do to help us to do it better?
All these things – Weinzweig’s books, the jokey flag and the post-election reflection have caused me to take a little leap I’ve been hesitating over, which is to write more about business-y things on my blog. I’ll be calling these posts “Skinnylaminxenstein” as a nod to the little nation state I’m in charge of, but also because it sounds a bit like a name for a monster, which is what a business (or a country) can become if you don’t provide good leadership.
This is my first Skinnylaminxenstein post, and I think I’ve said all I’m capable of right now, so if you want more, I’m going to hand you over to Wendy from MOOP, who writes often, and very openly, about her business journey, leaving me just a little starstruck. One of my favourite posts of Wendy’s, which sums up what I’m trying to express here, is about the power of small business. Leading on from this, read her her post-election reflection too.