Gary Gerber’s thoughts to the SLP team on our 38th Birthday!
August 8th, 2014
It was 38 years ago today that our Sun Light & Power incorporation papers were approved by the Secretary of State of California. We had actually been doing business for several months before that date, perhaps even in 1975, but August 6, 1976 is the earliest “official” date that we have yet identified so we use it.
I don’t remember having any kind of special celebration at the time; in fact, we probably didn’t even get the form notifying us of our successful incorporation for a week or two after the actual date. Odd, since corporations are people, that we didn’t get a proper birth certificate! There is no footprint on the form like I have on my own birth certificate. There’s no birth weight or length either, or mother’s maiden name.
Still, we did come into existence as a business entity with that stroke of a pen. Obviously, I don’t actually believe that a corporation is a person, nor do I believe that a corporation should have the rights of human beings. A corporation is a legal entity, created largely for income tax purposes and personal liability avoidance. Some day, after my exit (either willing or unwilling), the Sun Light & Power corporation will carry forward with none of the original founding human beings on board. Yet a corporation can persist, theoretically, for as long as there are governmental entities which recognize it, whether anyone who created it is still around and even if the corporation is doing something entirely different than it started out doing.
Many of us have heard that in a human body all of the cells are replaced every 7 years. So, just like a corporation, humans also can go on long after the original person is no longer physically there. An intriguing idea, right? But false. Actually the various non-brain cells in a human body have different lifetimes, from a few days to a year and more; but brain cells are the one type of cell that lasts the entire human lifespan. So, whether you believe in a soul or not, or whether you believe that consciousness resides in the brain, I find it very interesting that the brain is the one constant, irreplaceable part of the human body, and so perhaps it is the brain that makes us who we are. A corporation doesn’t by design have anything that corresponds to the human brain or human consciousness; there is nothing meaningful about a corporation that must persist unchanged throughout its lifespan.
So what is it about Sun Light & Power that makes it so different from the conventional corporation? Because I truly believe that we are different and special. And I think it is our “consciousness” that makes us special. We all came together for a reason, and that reason wasn’t just to make a bunch of money. We have a shared mission and common values, and as a group we express those shared values in everything we do. I think that is the SLP “Consciousness”, and that is what makes us unique.
And our consciousness isn’t just based on MY mission and values, though certainly that is where it started. But every one of you chose Sun Light & Power and we as a group chose you because of those shared values, and now with increased numbers those values are strengthened and broadened far beyond my own. Which is why I know that SLP is going to survive and thrive beyond my time here, just as long as we as a group continue to hold true to those values. This is why we remain so selective about who joins the team, no matter how hard that may be to do, and how long it may take us to find the people who we want to share this company with. I can’t emphasize this too much – SLP truly IS the people who work here, and if we bring in people who don’t share our common values, then the group consciousness of SLP will change, and not necessarily for the better.
So let’s continue to grow smarter and stronger! I wish us all a Happy Birthday and look forward to many more together!