Weekly Impact is written for leaders by our former Executive Director, Garth Jestley, who has decades of experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. Each week he will share insights on life, leadership and faith.
“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ~Adolf Hitler
“In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” ~George Orwell, “Nineteen Eighty-Four”
“I am the way, the truth, and the life.” ~Jesus
Last week, I concluded “Called to Business,” a series examining several business-related lies that many believe. For example, some think profit and profit-seeking are morally wrong whereas the Bible supports both.
Shifting gears, I am now going to focus on some really big lies that, consciously or unconsciously, permeate the worldviews of many in the West including marketplace leaders. Our worldview is the prism through which we interpret life (whether or not we can articulate it). As such, it inevitably affects our attitude toward our professional and personal lives and, by extension, our conduct.
The catalyst for writing this Big Lies series was “Nineteen Eighty-Four”, arguably George Orwell’s most famous novel. On a whim, I recently re-read the book. It must have made quite an impact on me when I first studied it at university, since it all flooded back in a rush. Unfortunately, the strong familiarity may relate to some current developments around the world (including Canada) that are reminiscent of the scenario described in “Nineteen Eighty-Four”!
In the novel, Winston Smith, the protagonist, works at the “Ministry of Truth.” The purpose of the Ministry is to constantly revise historical media records to accord with the current narrative being propagated by “Big Brother,” who is omnipresent through posters and TV screens which cannot be turned off and which spy on one’s every activity. In effect, the state defines what truth is. Like Hitler, it uses repetition, the editing of historical facts and repression to dictate allowable thought and speech. In Orwell’s words, “The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.”
This Series aligns with our mission at LeaderImpact, which is to help marketplace leaders explore the relevance of faith in God in their professional and personal lives. In this context, it is relevant to identify some big lies believed by many marketplace leaders, juxtapose them with the Christian perspective on the same issue and discuss the entailments of the competing beliefs. To quote Os Guinness, “contrast is the mother of clarity.”
Sadly, many have never tried to discern their deeply held beliefs. As a result, they don’t appreciate that some of their thoughts and resultant actions are driven by entrenched convictions that are simply not true. Alternatively, some are in touch with their core beliefs but not all the logical entailments of those beliefs.
In the next few postings, I will consider various big lies beginning next week with the commonly held view that human beings are no more special than other members of the animal realm.
Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.