“To thy own self be true” is a recurring theme throughout this book in which the author challenges our complacency and invites us to read on to discover tools and techniques to successfully combine social contribution with material success. McConnelly touches on the benefits that ethical management can bring to the long term success of businesses but the core of the book is directed at you and I as individuals. She asks us to believe that we have the choice to shape our lives and encourages us to exercise that choice by taking responsibility for our thoughts, choices, values and our ability to act.
Using a variety of exercises to stimulate our thinking – most of which are very helpful – the material helps to identify exactly what things are important in our lives, the values that we want to live by, and the action that needs to be taken in order to thy own self be true.
Best of all there are lots of examples of how people, including the author, have applied change activist principles to their lives. Presented in a non-traditional format with unusual use of colour, the writing style is conversational and informal (although I found the style was not conducive to reading large chunks at one go).
The author supports her material with quotes from a wide range of sources from Ovid (the first major Roman poet of the Roman Empire for those of you, like me, who can recall the name but not the face) to a bumper sticker spotted on the M4.
Also included are interviews with well regarded “change activists” such as Anita Roddick, of Body Shop fame, and A John Bird, founder of the Big Issue. All royalties go to the Magic Sandwich Project
Ali Moran is HR director of Equador Consulting