Monday, April 4, 2011

Believing in Right Principles

When I think of believing in right principles, I think from a core perspective...or, as in the image above, from the roots of why we do things.

I believe that too often we find ourselves doing a myriad of things for a myriad of reasons. "This boss wants that, that client doesn't want this, If we do this thing, it'll make a quick impact, if we force the issue, they won't have a choice..." on and on and on it goes.

In order for something to truly have value to an organization, it must first be aligned to the right principles. In a recent interview, Dr. Stephen R Covey was asked to define principles:

“To expand, a principle is a natural law like gravity. It’s different than a value. Values are subjective; principles are objective. Gravity… if you drop something, gravity controls. If I don’t tell you the truth, you won’t trust me-that’s a natural law."

Natural laws. Objective. Black and White. Interesting in these days of everything being subjective (if you believe the media), that we should be discussing principles. those things that at our core influence the development worthwhile values.

This is not to say the we are perfect in living in concert with our principles day to day. We are human and we make mistakes. I am more concerned with how we strive to live in a way that is true to right principles in both our personal and professional lives.

In our personal lives, i think it is more clear to us the impact of not living in concert with right principles. If we lie to our significant other, the impact is usually very immediate and very painful. So I believe most people are more honest in their personal dealings with the people that matter most to them.

It's the professional lives that are most concerning to me when it comes to people acting in principled ways. It is often easier to gloss over or side-step the true motivations for a change we advocate than to delve into the hard work...finding the root causes and working to eliminate them. Getting to the bottom of the issue, regardless of the pain it might cause, is the right and principled way to go about solving a problem...not going with the easy answer because it will be accepted more readily than the harder right answer.

Back at the Academy, part of the Cadet Prayer was: "Make us to choose the harder right over the easier wrong and never be content with a half truth when the whole can be won."

Simple. Forthright. Honest.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your site is awesome - I sent it to my daughter Ashley in Madrid, Spain. Her organization, B.I.D., thrives on leadership principles like these:)

Matthew James Gulbranson