Sawubona: What do you see?

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The rows of business magazines in the airport scream the word ‘success’ from their covers.

Smiling entrepreneurs and founders who have ‘made it’ are profiled inside.

Their success reflected in the visible and the measurable.

When did being successful become about being seen to have achieved success?

According to our society, anonymous success is not success. For society to deem you successful, we must see you successful.

It is like the philosophical question: “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” 

If you are successful and no one around knows about your success, are you successful?

We, the keepers of our culture, keep score.

We like to measure our progress. Come out on top. Be first. We like to win.

In our attempt to find a way to do that, we have learned to value and measure things in ways that are often disproportionate to their benefit to us collectively.

The thing is how we keep score changes the stories we tell, the businesses we build and the societies we shape.

The stories we tell about success change us.

We become what we measure.

We are who we take with us on the journey and who we leave behind.

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