Jul 022011
 

Political liberty gives us a lot of freedom

We are “free” to do some pretty stupid things in our careers and businesses.

We are at “liberty” to really mess up, and I have, from time-to-time.

If you really want freedom and liberty, be careful what you ask for. Better yet, have an idea what you plan to get out of the deal.

Now, this is not a patriotic post. It is not a political post.

It is not even an abstract, philosophical post. (Or at least it’s not intended to be.)

My intention is to make it very practical for your work and your career. I am open to your assessments of how I did if you want to share them.

I’ve been thinking about how our sense of time affects our notions of freedom and liberty.

In this moment, I have the freedom to choose what I will do. I have many liberties that I can exploit.

I also have the obligation not to do something stupid if I also want to preserve my freedoms in the future.

Of course, I stopped and looked up freedom and liberty in the dictionary before writing this. Here is a short summary of the distinctions:

  • Liberty – freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction […]; power or right of doing […] according to choice
  • Freedom – an absence of undue restrictions and an opportunity to exercise one’s rights and powers

So, both terms have to do with the absence of restrictions, obligations, limitations or what we might otherwise consider to be a constraint. Adding the notion of “undue” we could think of simply “the absence of unwanted constraints“.

But freedom to live a good life requires accepting obligations

If living a good life, having a good career and being valuable to the world and the marketplace is important, then being able to choose how to use my freedom in the moment to optimize my freedom over time must also be important.

Toby Hecht of The Aji Network has said that he doesn’t have the freedom to play the piano, because he never accepted the obligation to practice.

To make that personal for many of my readers… you need to learn to use social media tools… you need to engage the Internet community…

Not feeling any obligation to do so won’t help you avoid the consequences of being lost in the marketplace when you’d like to have opportunities, just like not accepting the obligation to fill your car with gas won’t help you avoid the consequence of running out at the worst possible time.

Here is a safe place to start. Feel FREE to post a comment… I don’t require that you log in… and then you will have it out of your system.

  2 Responses to “On freedom and liberty”

  1. […] is new, we make a promise… which sets up the possibility for building trust, and produces an obligation in us to deliver on the marginal utility we imply or outright […]

  2. […] the strategic action of “reading the world” (which is not the domain for marketers alone) executives (and leaders in general) are obligated to make interpretations about the meaning – the effects, consequences and relationships – of new technologies and […]

Leave a Reply