There is a strong misunderstanding when it comes to idealism. It is believed that idealists are dreamers, having their head in the clouds and being incapable of seing the world for what it is.
That makes them particularly unfitting to certain contexts, such as business for example. It is thought that you cannot make business unless you are practical and pragmatic.
And yet, we do recognise the importance of culture, values, missions, visions.
If we approach such things from a pragmatic perspective, it might not be worth the work. Actually, it is often true that sticking to company values is so unpractical that we take shortcuts. “This time, just this time” it’s going to be different. We turn a blind eye, we tell ourselves it’s for the greater good. After all we need to be successful, don’t we?
Idealists have the capability to understand that the context we live in (the World, our family, our circle of friends, our team, our company) is filtered through ideas. And that if what we do does not correspond to the type of ideas we want to promote, the gain is just fictitious. In the long run our ideas, the ones we care about, the ones we felt we represented, will degrade and change in meaning. And together with them, our world will degrade and change in meaning.
We need idealists, and we need to make sure we understand that the way we are practical do greatly influence the way we see ourselves and the people around us. We need to facilitate idealists checks on what we are doing, and listen carefully, and change direction if it’s needed.
Idealists might be the most important resource for success, no matter what meaning you give to it.