A Big Thought

Variations on a Theme

Entrepreneurship Is Soul-Craft

At the heart of entrepreneurship is the desire to be fruitful: to make a difference in the world by creating something new. This desire wells up from deep in the human spirit. And it makes entrepreneurship an expression of inner life.

Founding a company is an exercise in spiritual formation.

It forms two inner cultures: the organization’s and the founder’s. The spirituality of the entrepreneur will be manifested by her company. Conversely, a company’s culture will shape the spirit of the founder. When this reciprocal influence is fruitful, the work of entrepreneurship answers to the deep longing that motivated it. But when it is not, work becomes a source of anxiety, confusion, and fear. It isolates founders from co-founders, employees, and other stakeholders.

Through coaching and leadership development, Centripetal fosters the inner formation of people and organizations: the kind that makes entrepreneurship spiritually productive.

Our work focuses on three disciplines essential to generative work: detachment, creativity, and compassion.

Together, these orientations of the heart turn business into life-giving labor. We facilitate conversations that equip founders and those they employ to develop these three disciplines in themselves.

Detachment is the discipline of loving and letting go—especially of the things that we build. Cultivating it trains founders, and those who work for them, not to conflate the value of what they do with its outcome. It allows us to find repose of spirit. Such rest is not an alternative to intense self-investment at work. It is its center point.

Creativity is the discipline of loving by letting go. It instructs founders and employees to release what they care about into the world—instead of imagining they could keep it for themselves. After all, even creativity is not a private possession. We express our unique genius by receiving it through others.

Finally, compassion is the discipline of loving to let go. It trains us to see our work as an offering.

Entrepreneurship is about more than capitalizing on challenges that present opportunities for lucrative problem solving. It is about taking care of people.

It is about acknowledging that we are different and recognizing the good we share by meeting each other’s needs. All of our work is a process of loving letting go.

We draw on original research that recovers ancient and modern wisdom traditions for business today. And we link insights from those traditions to the specific problems you face as a founder. We’re not fans of the ‘Five Life Hacks for Better Leadership’ approach to professional development. We don’t offer quick tips or tricks for achieving organizational health. We’re pioneering a new style of entrepreneurship: one that speaks the language of the heart with lucid vision. It’s an approach with the power to make your company’s inner life—and yours—more fruitful.

Entrepreneurship Is a Feat of Hospitality–Not Heroism

As entrepreneurs, we’re not isolated superstars, creating something out of nothing. We’re always working with material we’ve been given. Recognizing that keeps us in touch with ourselves and with the people around us. It also allows us to work alone without suffering from self-imposed loneliness.

Is Business Really About Collaboration or Competition?

The answer is: both. Seen from the global level of organizational complexity, business is all about working together for our common good. And that happens through competition, not in spite of it. The key is learning how to compete with one another on lower levels while never losing sight of our shared purposes on higher ones.

Values Are Contagious

Values are essential to business. However, when we assume that they're private, our values can leave us feeling isolated and lonely. But values aren't really private. They're shared. So leaders should be in the business of offering values--not just adding value.

What Smart Money Does

What would happen if we stopped imagining that money exists primarily to make our private lives as comfortable as possible? What would change if we started seeing money as an opportunity for solidarity and recognition?

The Goal of Business Isn’t Making Money

Thinking of profit alone as the primary objective of business is a feature of the flawed way in which we think about value. Corporations don't exist to generate private value. They exist to point us to the common good of peace. That's a center that organizes us around truly corporate purpose.

What the Ancients Knew (and We Don’t) about Economy

Treating customers and business partners as family is one of the biggest opportunities for making work more meaningful in our global economy.