A lesson of Commerce & Community – A Christmas Carol
Dickens both understood the human psyche and appreciated commerce, yet remained cautious about the worst excesses of both. Through Dickens’ caricatures, we have learnt a lot by repeatedly watching and inadvertently studying the worst of Marley and Scrooge. We might have studied the best too, by journeying more with the First Ghost, of Christmas Past, who introduces us to Mr & Mrs Fezziwig.
The Fezziwigs are good partners, thriving in marriage and business, together. They teach and apprentice Marley, Scrooge and others with generosity. They understand the need to make a profit, a fair profit, keeping their customers’ and staff’s needs in mind.
They throw a community party, leading the singing and the dancing.
Employees who feel valued and respected are happier. They provide better service. They are more creative, more resilient and more productive. They work harder, bounce back better and support one another with passion.
In a wistful, almost regretful, moment, Scrooge says of his mentor ‘It isn’t that, Spirit. He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil. Say that his power lies in words and looks; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count ‘em up: what then? The happiness he gives is quite as great as if it cost a fortune.”
Fezziwig’s leadership is born of high regard for the people he employs, and exhibited in ways too numerous to count. The Christmas party serves as a celebratory accent to relationships that are already rich and rewarding.
We are looking forward to catching up with you all, following the Christmas and New Year period.
All three events in January in Bedford (10th Jan); Hitchin (12th Jan) and London Colney (23rd Jan) will be focused around planning for our lives and businesses, bearing in mind the lesson of the Fezziwigs that we are a supportive community always ready to help each other through the toils as well as the pleasures in life and business.