As I’ve increasingly published my thoughts about the proper way, the moral way, to treat the people we’re privileged to lead, I’ve seen an interesting phenomenon among some of those who agree with me.

They’re waiting for someone else to do something about it. Look at the comments to this LinkedIn post by Caroline Fairchild, for example. Good people, people interested in making a change and improving the business world, are waiting for capitalism to change, or corporations to change, or this or that or the other thing to change.

They shouldn’t be.

Capitalism isn’t going to change, because we didn’t design it in the first place. It’s spontaneous order – an economic system based on many things, including the rule of law and our monetary system and relatively free trade, but most of all on the aggregation of millions of people making thousands of decisions each, every single day. We couldn’t “fix it” if we tried (though we can sure screw it up without trying). Besides, it can’t and won’t fix our moral failings. And treating people poorly is indeed a moral failing.

Corporations might change, but I wouldn’t be holding my breath. There are too many people with too many agendas involved, lots of them honorable and some of them not, to think we can wait until a CEO or a Board of Directors charts a new course before we act to fix our corner of the business world.

The way to make things better is for you to begin acting, starting right now.

I’m just finishing up Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family, by Bob Chapman and Raj Sisodia. I love this book and its message. (But please, in subsequent printings, can a kindly editor go in and remove three of every four of its authors’ uses of the word “journey?” I thank you.) This passage near the end caught my eye:

Embark on your journey now. You don’t need a memo from the almighty wizards of corporate to tell you that it’s OK to do the right thing. A spreadsheet can’t show you how to treat people. No executive order is required to allow you to pause each day to have a thoughtful conversation with someone in your organization. Listen to them. Show them that what they do and who they are matters. You – and everyone else in your organization – already have everything within yourselves to start living the universal truth that everybody matters.

That’s exactly right. The whole list of improvements you want to see around you may not be entirely in your power to bring about, but that’s no excuse for not getting started, today, on the ones you can.