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"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."
Earnest Hemingway.


From Fellowship to Anxiety

Two and a half decades ago, the term "company" dominated business language.  Fast forward to the present, and the narrative has shifted; "business" has taken centre stage in our professional vernacular. This linguistic evolution is more than a semantic change—it reflects a profound transformation in the ethos of modern enterprise.

The etymology of Company vs. Business

I love delving into the roots of words, which reveal intriguing insights. "Company" finds its origin in the Latin words "com" and "panis," symbolising the sharing of bread. Implicit in this etymology is the essence of fellowship and communal sustenance. Managing a company was akin to stewarding a collective journey—a shared banquet of progress and prosperity.

On the flip side, "business" traces its lineage to the Old English term "busyness," a word loaded with connotations of anxiety and preoccupation. In this linguistic transition, we have not merely swapped synonyms; we've exchanged a narrative of shared sustenance for one of perpetual worry.


The metamorphosis from managing Fellowship to spreading Anxiety

In the bygone era of "companies," leadership was synonymous with cultivating fellowship. It was about fostering an environment where success was collective, and the burdens were shared. The business landscape echoed the harmony of a shared journey toward a common goal.

Today, the rise of "business" signifies a shift in focus—one that revolves around anxiety, urgency, and perpetual motion. The ethos has transformed from a shared banquet to a race against time, where the rhythm of progress is punctuated by the drumbeat of stress. And honestly, how is this working for us?  I think we can all agree it isn’t.


Navigating the Contemporary Landscape

Acknowledging this linguistic evolution prompts us to reflect on the changing dynamics of leadership and organisational culture. While the language may seem subtle, its impact is profound. As professionals navigating the contemporary landscape, it is essential to balance the efficiency "business" demands with the camaraderie and shared purpose intrinsic to "company."

Let us not forget the roots of our words and the narratives they carry. In this delicate dance between fellowship and anxiety, finding a harmonious blend might be the key to fostering a workplace where success is measured in outcomes and the quality of the journey undertaken together.

So, what can we do about it?  Well, I think it will take #CourageousLeadership to take us back to cultivating a fellowship culture again.

What could you do to start managing fellowship rather than spreading anxiety?


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