Posted by: Dr Churchill | August 12, 2013

10 best bits from some old fogeys’ wisdom

Some Three thousand years ago, the Gautama gave us the Supreme virtue of Kindness.

Then Two thousand and five hundred years ago, in the Era of the Greek Enlightenment, Aristotle formalised his Virtues as a guide to leading a “happy life.” They are principally, the Greek virtues of courage, justice, prudence and temperance.

A little less than Two thousand years ago another teacher came along and taught us the virtues of faith, hope, love, and charity. This was the Nazarene’s potent message and is what we are now calling the Christian Virtues: Faith, hope, love and charity.

These are the classic virtues that make a Man. These are all useful tools for becoming a Human Being. So if you respect yourself and want the Best for your Being — accept them and practice them because they still hold true  —  that’s why they’ve lasted this long…

All these virtues together they comprise the Master Mind of a True Genial Human Being on the curved trajectory to reaching escape velocity and becoming supreme human being.

Let us examine each one of these virtues in detail:

1) My Religion is Kindness because Kindness is the Crown upon your head.  Without it all other virtues You might have are of no consequence. And the vehicle that Kindness travels into your heart and radiates outwards to the world is Compassion.  These two are always intertwined and travel in a beatific pair. Compassion is the means to an end. End being the practice of kindness. The Religion of humanity and the sum total of all spiritual teachings and Religious Doctrines the World over.  Compassion – the Mahayana of Kindness – will lead you places. Kindness is your arrival there.

2) Compassion is the supreme virtuous behaviour. It is the way. Compassion is what I pray to God for when I ask for an Understanding Heart. Compassion is what makes us truly Human and distinguishes for all other animals. Compassion is the greatest mark of Intelligence. Higher Intelligence. Compassion is what remains when all memory of Life is gone. Meditate upon this and see the Truth of it.

The other lesser virtues, we talk them down the list….

3) Courage is to take a step forward into an area of difficulty without a solution in mind, but yet feeling that victory is ahead. It is going empty handed, but knowing that God’s hand is stretched out to pull you. It takes courage to challenge the status quo, to try something untried, to propose unprecedented solutions. Most of life’s disciplines, societal change, disruptive innovations, and leadership with INTEGRITY take a lot of courage. Courage recognizes opportunity and leads change while managing risk. Smart risk is taken with courage and ethics.

4) Faith equals trust, which is based on our experience, on promises kept. It is increased with authenticity and honesty. It assumes worth and brings out value. The worthiness of anyone and his valuable contributions are aligned. Same goes for companies. For example: Is Google’s market cap [worth] based on its computer server farms, companies owned, digital real estate and communication networks, or on its algorithms, people, corporate culture and the belief – based on past experience – they will continue to produce value.  Faith is your people’s trust in you and your customers’ trust in your brand. The entire customer experience, hence your whole organization, has to live up to that trust. It means you are transparent, you align resources to truly give value to your customers and you are accountable and responsible. This virtue is extensible because every single member of your team, and within your organization should be trustworthy. This is a virtue that all should embrace integrally.

5) Hope is tied to faith. Hope looks ahead to the future and is rooted in facts, not fantasy. It balances the possible with the probable. Hope is based on experience, learning and application, so there must be freedom to fail. Learning from failure helps determine fact from fiction.  Hope is realized when you innovate, because it is hope that allows big plans and vast resources dedicated with leadership and vision to come to fruition. It is how you get ideas into the pipeline, vet them, test them and support the people involved. You can engender hope by giving people time to imagine, dream and try. The more “at bats” you have, the more chances of getting all the way around and back to home plate. It’s about best practicing, not just following blindly the best practices.  All your team members should have and give hope.  Teach people on your team to always say “Yes, and”  instead of “Yes, but” or an outright “No” and silence the perpetual Cassandras who because they are living in a dark place always think catastrophic gloom and doom scenarios. Release and relegate those folks to their misery and focus on the ones able to HOPE freely for the best outcome.

6) Justice is the difference between fair and equal. Justice also applies the triple bottom line to innovate solutions that are meaningful and effective and preserve the environment. This directly affects your own and your brand’s reputation. Justice directly gets to compensation. Rewarding your people fairly or equally affects morale, productivity and the customer experience. Justice also means that having the right doesn’t make it right. Justice asks you to look at things from the other person’s point of view. Look at the world and the issue from your customer’s perspective, not from your own. Do the ends justify the means? Justice accounts for your organization’s total impact — on people, planet and profits; on leaving things at least as good as you found them. On leaving enough on the table for all other parties to a deal. Life is not a zero sum game. Not it is a corrupt dealer table of craps.

7) Love as Aristotle defined love is 3 different things: Eros (passion), Philos (friendship) and Agape (sacrifice, servant leadership). Think of “Voice of the Customer,” “Voice of the Employee,” and “Voice of the Community.” Passion is exhibited through excellent customer service, social capital and servant leadership. Love is all about creating and sustaining authentic customer value. Eros is a passion for delighting your customer all the way from how they find your stuff, order it, get it, deal with customer service, unpack it, install/use it and potentially get rid of it (which ties into justice!). Philos is how you treat your employees and your suppliers — with respect, honesty and the freedom to take risks to better the business and delight the customers.  Agape is Compassionate leadership. excellent customer service, social capital and servant leadership. Agape is all about creating, delivering,  and sustaining authentic value in everything You do and sharing that freely. Pay attention to the sharing freely bit. Because like cathedral building, and forest planting — all of humanity’s endeavours  at Civilization and benevolent society stem from this one Virtue.

8) Prudence is about empowering people so the organization is agile and adaptable. This affects who and how you hire, train, develop and free your talent. It means you balance short, medium and long terms. It’s about assessing outcomes and outputs and can require courage. Prudence means your people know, and can impact, the processes and rules of the road and knowing “when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em.” Prudence gets to your decision-making process. Do you look at the bright spots (what’s working) as well as the dull spots (what’s not working) and ask why and why not? Do you align your people’s strengths and passions with their responsibilities as best you can? Apply lessons from the past without imposing them on the future. Do you question the underlying assumptions and validate them?

9)  Temperance is Greek for “the middle way,” moderation, balancing competing interests. It applies to work-life fit, stakeholders, team’s diversity, policies for consistency but not constraint, long versus short term and accountability versus authority.
Application: Temperance gets to how you give your people the freedom to perform excellently and have a life. It’s about balancing accountable and responsible with the authority to act. It is demonstrated in your innovation processes. How well does your organization balance competing interests? What are your barriers to temperance? Do you give your people the time and space to innovate and learn? We need people with temperance to balance the passion for customer delight with sustained profitability to continue to delight! As for work-life fit, your team is the role model for the organization.

10) Agape is how the Nazarene, defined love and charity differently than erotic passion, philial friendship or even Agape of Aristotle.  Agape for the carpenter of Nazareth is love — yet it’s not erotic. It is carnal and spiritual. It is deeper than erotic love and yet nothing like the Charity Bag you throw to an old Lover either.  Agape was his thing through and through. Agape in it’s many forms…. Maybe Agape is how you lead. In your leadership, in your Compassionate living, in your charity, in your work life balance, in your philanthropy. Agape is your sum total of being. It is your Grand Act. It is about selfless giving and servant leading.  Jesus the Nazarene jumped straight to sacrifice, servant leadership, charity and being the vessel of kindness. Think of  him when in doubt. Or think of his voice throwing the garbage out of the temple. Hear his voice through the “Voice of the voiceless” those who can’t be heard or those not represented by powerful interests.  Agape is exhibited through responsible leadership. Through Just and Equitable Leadership. Agape is the Power of Love

What is the underlying current in all three of the Old Teachers wisdom is that they had all experienced major near death experiences that made them change their ways and arrive at the threshold of wisdom.

In short all three had gone through what I call “The Cemetery Moment”

Maybe You’ll have one too…
If that’s what it takes to wake up




Repetitio matter studiorno….

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