Oct 30, 2019 · 3 min read

Let me tell you a story:

A man in Liverpool once told me that he couldn’t care less about the problems of his company, its safety culture, its leadership and “all of that nonsense”.

He said that and that he didn’t have any faith whatsoever in “so-called” developmental initiatives; that every management plan was just another “snide” plot to get more work out of him for less money and nothing more.

He knew this to be true because when he first went to work as a young man it was for a very dictatorial boss. Maybe the man was under tremendous pressure to survive in business and believed that being dictatorial was the way he had to present himself. Who knows?

In this, his first job, the then-young man soon theorised that the governing principle of the boss’ understanding of industry was for him, the boss, to squeeze from his employees as much work as he could possibly get away with; while paying them as little of his capital as he possibly could possibly get away with.

The work-force, taking their lead from the tone set by the boss, had developed an apathetic, complacent and pessimistic work-culture of giving as little work as they could possibly skive away with; while demanding from the boss as much of his capital as they could possibly get away with. Pumping this poisonously destructive obstructivism into the enterprise eventually became for all concerned the point of going to work.

Such is a very unbalanced, unsafe and unhealthy state of affairs in every aspect of any workplace’s environments. On the other hand, by all concerned unrecognised: the more that you train, encourage, appreciate and support people to cooperate and compete safely, healthily and in balance then the more they will cooperate with you for the success, the health, the safety and the competitive balance of all the environments of your common enterprise.

In the end — inevitably — nobody prospered, the business failed and the afore-mentioned all concerned were all out of work. Whether wittingly or unwittingly, they had made it their job to attack their work. Such a scenario is analogous to sawing through a tree-branch that is supporting you. The result is inevitable.

I met this man again some fifteen years later. He was in a bad way: unemployable, and therefore out-of-work, he had taken to drink — never a sound solution to any of life’s problems.

He was so bitter, self-righteously blaming others for his miserable circumstances. His human life had become a life wasted. His only pleasure, his only apparent sense of personal significance was that, thanks to him, his erstwhile boss’ business had failed into bankruptcy. Yep! He had really taught that guy a lesson.

What is more important, though, is the long-term consequences of this experience, this then-young man’s first introduction to working practices. It conditioned him to spend a life of anger, a life of distrust of working with and for others. It negatively contextualised work for him for the rest of his life and it shuttered into darkness forever the window to his understanding of how work can be, and should be: a path to self-development and personal fulfilment i.e. a way to invest in, to like and to enjoy living your life. Many lives are thus wasted.

So what’s this got to do with MediLiVes?

The clue is in the closing sentence of the previous paragraph. It’s a question of the mentoring leadership and mentored followership as the path to self-leadership.

The more that you force and frighten resentful people to cooperate with you for the dominance of your input to an enterprise over theirs: then the less that they will cooperate with you and the more that they will hunger for financial self-control; for their own self-determination of their own lives. Isn’t this hunger for financial freedom what the banking system most fears? The system is set up so that it makes money by making you pay to live. There has to be a better way than this.

Working together, leading ourselves individually and collectively, to achieve the success of MediLiVes — a truly noble human enterprise — and the MLIV we can not only ensure our own personal freedom of financial choice but also offer to the world a much-needed solution to achieving truly democratic global healthcare that in recognising the birth-right significance of — and equally importantly: working to serve — the healthcare needs of all human beings, works to work for everybody.

John McKay, Chief Operating Officer, MediLiVes


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