We've become a nation of 'hustlers', but partnership is the future. A briefing from Futurist Chet W. Sisk
The US has elevated the title of "hustler" to stratospheric levels. We have movies that come out and celebrate the people who "hustle". We praise colleagues as hustlers because of their ability to do anything the situation calls for. We admire the grit demonstrated by people and their resourcefulness as they navigate life.
Then there is another set of hustlers that we celebrate. We have politicians who write books on making hustling people an "art" in order to "get over" on them. We have company executives who hustle the general public by being deceptive in the products they manufacture. We have entire institutions that are "gaming the system" so they can have an unfair advantage. These are the new hustlers that we have elevated to cult status because we sometimes equate them to our own survival hustle. It is a false equivalence. It is not the same. These new hustlers and grifters are people hell bent on material acquisition and power by any means necessary. They have now become our personality. Our mindset. Our spirit.
While I do understand the hustle as a survival tool, I don't want us to lose the truth that there are circumstances creating the need for us to hustle in the first place. Oftentimes, those circumstances are created by the new hustlers that aren't surviving, but thriving.....at your expense. Those circumstances aren't the natural order of humans. They are man-made. Ask the Nordic states.
The one thing that modern technology keeps telling us by it's very existence is that things work better, more efficiently and more effectively when they are connected and work together. There is more leverage in connectivity, more collective power and more innovation when people can draw on a variety of sources instead of just their own insular hustle. In the ancient African philosophical construct of Ubuntu, the idea is that we can use more sources to solve our problems than playing out a wild west scenario where it's every person for themselves. The old phrase goes "when more people do well....more people do well."
Back in my days teaching leadership at the University of Kwazulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa, I asked the students what was the root of all evil? Most of them answered money. Others said it was the love of money. But I demonstrated to them that indifference is the root of all evil. Once you no longer see one person as being connected to you, you logically work out in your mind that they no longer have value and you can do things to them you would never do to yourself. They no longer are a partner for success but a tool for your hustle. We've done it in slavery, genocide, wars as well as violence against the planet. We are paying for that indifference to the planet in the form of an extinction level event called climate crisis. No hustle will get us out of this.
Highly developed partnerships is the tool of choice for a planet that must rethink it's resources, it's people and the way that it looks at the future. The efficiency and effectiveness of partnerships makes hustling look like a third grade school dance. So it's not whether or not partnerships is better than individual hustling. It's whether or not we can develop the collective will to become something great
Chet W. Sisk is an author and one of the world's leading Social Futurists. He is also expert on the current world paradigm shift. Find out more about him and the LEAD Global Team at www.leadtheshift.com or you can write him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org