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Paula Marshall's Blog

The musings of a female CEO, trying to change the way business is done.

While human beings are hardwired, ego-based beings, one thing can prevail over ego: community.


“While human beings are hardwired, ego-based beings, one thing can prevail over ego: community.

Everyone deeply desires community. No matter how hermetically sealed our lives may be, no matter how much we
cherish our personal space, no matter how “burned” we may feel by past experiences with groups, something in us aches for the experience of authentic belonging. Community is an archetype imbedded in the human psyche regardless of culture or ethnicity. In America, as perhaps no other place or period in history, this archetype has been disowned in favor of bootstrap pulling and “doing it my way.”

It is useful to recall that all of us are descendants of tribal peoples whose lives revolved around and were shaped moment to moment by community. I believe that an ancient memory of tribal life—the good, the bad and everything in between—exists within us. 


Community evokes a group of trusted friends sitting around a table; a gathering of families on Thanksgiving or friends enjoying a concert. But community is more than pleasantries. Tribal cultures over the millennia have been forced to create community for the same reasons we must as we confront global warming, global economic collapse and other worldwide threats. Our ancestors had to cope with earthquakes, floods, packs of hungry animals, plagues, fires, famine and rival warring tribes; the earliest humans banded together in communities as a matter of necessity. Survival dictated cooperation— just as it most certainly will in the years to come.


We must work in community as we struggle for survival. We must temper our egos and reject the negative states of mind such as anger, resentment, fear, envy and jealousy, which are also products of the ego. If together we move toward continuous improvement rather than a number, a sense of shared well-being and hope can prevail and success can be shared.

As business and organizational leaders, we must foster a sense of community within our organizations. At the Bama
Companies we know people make everything work. When people feel that the organization gives back to them as much as they are giving to the organization, they are willing to give more. People Helping People is the mission of the Bama Companies.” pp. 46-47, Finding the Soul of Big Business

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