Copyright © Dr. Stephen H. Dawson, DSL 2021
May 13, 2021
"We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are." Max De Pree
There is only one person who matters when defining what must be done in any situation. That person is our self. The reality of our impact both now and tomorrow is the challenge of living what we believe by doing what we believe. This impact is the linear connection of worldview, ethics, morality, and virtue.
We are working to resolve your delay in accomplishing your strategic planning work by swapping out some folks in your organization. You have decided to become what you need to be by not remaining what you are now. You are completing your materials summary, your Love Action Items list, and scheduling the first meeting with your boss based on the plan we covered recently. Today, let's cover what I, in both a dignified and proper manner, call...the stuff. The stuff is the linear combination of worldview, ethics, morality, and virtue. Think of them as indispensable blocks to build your life, your organization, your society, your country, and our world.
I held off discussing the stuff with you earlier, as I did not want to overwhelm you with too much to process at one time. You are growing as a healthy leader by going through the process we are walking out together. We are not late discussing the stuff, as you are now working on completing your materials summary and your Love Action Items list. Now is the time to discuss the stuff, to help round out your writing and prepare it for your first stop: your boss reviewing your written forthcoming leadership plan.
I will not bore you with the background of the Greek philosophers who became famous from their perspectives on worldview, ethics, morality, and virtue. They did not invent the terms, they do not own the terms, but they did much to help people understand the terms. I appreciate their help in my learning these terms. Yet, we do not answer to them. We answer to reasoning that can withstand scrutiny.
Here is how I see the stuff: No one cares about what I care about in life unless they are willing to pay me for what I care about in life. Their payment to me can come through countless options. I urge you to adopt a similar perspective. I will now teach you all there is to learn about the stuff in less than five minutes, holding our shared understanding that it takes a lifetime for everyone to do the stuff to prove to our self's we know our stuff.
What a person believes. It is a singular term. It is the list of items a person believes. The listed items do not need to be defined clearly to the person believing them. There is no mandate to one's self to prove what that person does by self-debate. Worldview defines the subset of truth to the person but does not define truth entirely. One does only need to believe something for it to be a part of their worldview. Worldview is nothing more than what a person believes.
What a person does. It is a plural term. It is the list of items a person does. The listed items do need to be defined clearly to the person doing them. Each ethic is performed both consciously and purposely. There is a mandate to one's self to prove what that person does by self-debate. Ethics are nothing more than what a person does.
What a person must do based only on their worldview. Morality defines right and good. It is a plural term. It is the list of items a person must do as the subset of what they could do to fulfill their worldview. The listed items do need to be defined clearly to the person doing them. Each moral is performed both consciously and purposely. There is a mandate to one's self to prove what that person does by self-debate. Morals are nothing more than what a person believes they must do.
The items at the top of a person's morality list. It is a plural term. It is the list of items a person must do as the prioritized subset of what they could do to fulfill their worldview. The listed items do need to be defined clearly to the person doing them. Each virtue is performed both consciously and purposely. There is a mandate to one's self to prove what that person does by self-debate. Virtues are nothing more than what a person believes they must do before doing anything else.
Congratulations. You just mastered understanding the terms worldview, ethic, morality, and virtue. I hold the worldview more folks in this world should master what you just learned.
Please understand it is not my intent to trivialize these terms. It is my intent to keep them from causing you harm. You have been doing the stuff since the moment you took your first breath. You will continue to do the stuff until the moment you take your last breath. It is best, as with all doing, one knows what they are doing after a suitable period of learning occurs. We talked about this consideration when I asked if you wanted me to use heavy equipment before I learned how to operate the heavy equipment.
A common phrase in social and political circles today is moral responsibility. I struggle to find a meaningful definition of this phrase as a term, so I do not identify this phrase a term. A moral can only be held between two people when they perform similar ethics based on their similar worldviews. What the verbal assailant is doing with this phrase is attacking your virtues, not your morality. It is a form of intellectual cowardice, as they refuse to learn the terminology they use in their statements.
I encourage you to remember the linear relationship between worldview, ethics, morality, and virtue the next time some tries to push you around with their demand that you supply them your morality as they see fit. Think back to our discussion on power when you hear them place such a demand on you.
I know we covered some heavy topics this week. Fear not, for indisputable facts help strengthen your leadership ability. Take the stuff for what it is: your stuff. Remember, there is only one person who matters when defining what must be done in any situation. That person is our self.
I encourage you to spend time this week completing your materials summary, your Love Action Items list, and scheduling the first meeting with your boss based on the plan we covered recently. Also, consider how your followers speak and act in light of what you have now learned about the stuff. Finally, consider how much of an overlap there is between each follower's worldview and your worldview by considering what they do...their ethics. We will look at their morality and their virtues during future discussions.
So, I ask you: where do you want to go? I hope your answer is to develop the plans necessary to accomplish the strategy you know you need to achieve to arrive at your desired destination. If this is the case, then let's get to work. If not, then I wish you the best of everything.
I hope we will see each other here next week. Email me if you need to talk before then.
Dr. Stephen H. Dawson, DSL
Executive Strategy Consultant
Stephen Dawson is an executive consultant of technology and business strategy, serving significant international organizations by providing leadership consulting, strategic planning, and executive communications. He has more than thirty years of service and consulting experience in delivering successful international business development and program management outcomes in the US and SE Asia. His weekly column, "Where Do You Want To Go?," appears on Thursdays.
Dr. Dawson has served in the technology, banking, and hospitality industries. He is a noted strategic planning visionary. His pursuit of music has been matched with his efforts to lead by service to followers. He holds the clear understanding a leader without followers is a person taking a long walk alone.
Stephen has lived his life in the eastern United States, visiting most of the United States and several countries. He is a graduate of the Regent University School of Business & Leadership. Contact him at email@example.com.