I’ve grown to love this quote from Shantaram, a book by Gregory David Roberts.
But I was alone, and for two reasons: The mafia was theirs, not mine. For them, the organisation always came first. But I was loyal to the men, not the mafia; to the brothers, not the brotherhood. I worked for the mafia, but I didn't join it. I'm not a joiner. I never found a club or clan or idea that was more important to me than the men and women who believed in it.
I haven’t read the book yet, so not entirely sure of the full context. But I particularly like to see in the context of any company I work at, and my relationship to it. My loyalty is to my friends, and the individuals who work at the company, not the institution itself. Companies (particularly tech companies) like to portray their work culture as a family. And it’s all too easy to believe in this “brotherhood”. But there is none. The company exists for its own interests, and you’re on your own.
Thanks to Abhay for telling me about the quote. I hope to read the book in the near future.- nRT