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Success Building Blocks: Condition

By Bigg Success Staff
08-05-08

Timeless Principles

success_pyramid

John Wooden was arguably the best coach in the history of college basketball. He developed the Pyramid of Success, a wonderful tool to succeed bigg in any endeavor you choose.

So far, we’ve discussed the bottom two rows of his Pyramid. Industriousness, Friendship, Loyalty, Cooperation, and Enthusiasm form the foundation. The second row consists of Self-control, Alertness, Initiative, and Intentness.

Now we’ll move to the three blocks that form the heart of the Pyramid, starting with the block on the far left of the third row.

Condition

This block sits on the left hand side of the middle row, on top of Self-Control and Alertness. Wooden emphasized to his athletes that physical conditioning wasn’t enough. They had to also prepare mentally and show moral restraint. So it is with us – we have to nourish our bodies, our minds, and our souls to be at the top of our game.

On the physical side, it’s a blend of proper rest with a regular exercise regimen and a healthy diet. On the mental side, seek to learn at least one new thing every day. Also learn how to be mentally tough so you can withstand the inevitable ups and downs.

Wooden told his young men that their condition depended on two things – how hard they worked at practice and how well they behaved when they weren’t practicing. Sounds like a great formula for all of us, doesn’t it? 

Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show.

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed. 

Related posts

John Wooden's Pyramid Of Success

Success Building Blocks: Industriousness

Success Building Blocks: Friendship

Success Building Blocks: Loyalty

Success Building Blocks: Enthusiasm

Success Building Blocks: Cooperation

Success Building Blocks: Self-Control

Success Building Blocks: Alertness

Success Building Blocks: Initiative 

Success Building Blocks: Intentness

3 Steps to Solve an Ethical Dilemma

By Bigg Success Staff
08-05-08

Leadership Skills

dilemma

One of the most important leadership skills you can possess is a high moral intelligence.
It may appear that bad behavior is rewarded in the corporate world, but it is usually a very short-term phenomenon. In the long-term, good behavior tends to pay off.

What makes ethical dilemmas particularly difficult is that they often involve conflicts between two or more deeply held beliefs. Consider this admittedly simple example …

A friend of yours just had a baby. He’s the most homely baby you’ve ever seen. While holding her new baby boy in her arms, your friend asks, “Isn’t he the best looking baby you’ve ever seen?”

Now you value honesty. But you also believe you shouldn’t needlessly hurt someone’s feelings. You have an ethical dilemma!

Ethical dilemmas flow upward
All of us are leaders, even if it’s just personal leadership. However, when you start managing others, it’s crucial to have a framework in place to deal with ethical dilemmas. Leaders must learn to apply their values, aligned with the values of their organization, to these situations. Ethical decisions are often trade-offs between:

  • Utility – the value delivered to the stakeholders in your organization
  • Rights – entitlement to something
  • Justice – equitable sharing of pain and pleasure

Because of these trade-offs, leaders must be prepared to deal with ethical dilemmas because these decisions tend to flow upward. So leaders must develop a framework to handle these inevitable challenges.

The benefits of an established framework

There are at least four benefits to putting a framework in place for making ethical decisions:

  • Efficiency – decisions can be made more quickly
  • Consistency – results in more systematic outputs
  • Payback – builds emotional goodwill with your constituents
  • Self-respect – you feel good about yourself when you look in the mirror

3 steps to solving ethical dilemmas

#1 – Know your values
There are certain values about which society agrees. For example, we tend to value honesty. Our discussion here isn’t designed to change your values – instead, it’s about applying them. Before you can apply them, you have to know what they are.

If you haven’t formally contemplated your values, or even if you haven’t thought about it for awhile, check out our article on core values.

Application: Create your list of core values.

#2 – Select a model
According to the book, Moral Issues in Business, ethical theories can be divided into two classifications: consequential theories (the formal term for these is teleological theories) and non-consequential theories (formal name is deontological theories).

The following is not a complete list of ethical theories, but it certainly covers the most significant ones for business people.

Consequential theories
With consequential theories, actions are judged by outcomes. If an action results in a positive result, it is morally right. If not, it is wrong.
Egoism – An act is moral if it promotes your best long-term interest.

Strengths Weaknesses
– Useful for decision-making – Ignores wrongs
– Flexible – Ignores interest of others
– Doesn’t build relationships
– Inconsistent (i.e. right for me, wrong for you)
– Can’t resolve conflicts of interest

Utilitarianism – An act is moral if it produces the great ratio of good to evil for everyone.

Strengths Weaknesses
– Useful for decision-making – May ignore wrongs
– Flexible – May conflict with justice
– Recognizes interests of all – Difficult to design rules
– Resolves conflict of interest

Situational – An act is moral if it creates the greatest amount of love.

Strengths Weaknesses
– Humanizes decisions – Lacks definite criteria for decision-making
– Rejects moral legalism

Non-consequential theories
According to non-consequential theories, a factor (single rule non-consequential theories) or factors (multiple rule non-consequential theories) other than the outcome should be considered when faced with an ethical dilemma.

Single rule

Golden Rule – An act is moral if you treat others the way you would wish to be treated.

Strengths Weaknesses
– Personalizes decisions – Needs modification to fit commerce
– Brings fairness into play – We can’t know how others feel and think
– Carries childhood teachings into business

Categorical Imperative (Kant) – An act is moral if you would wish that everyone behaved in the same manner.

Strengths Weaknesses
– Useful for decisions (i.e. do your duty) – Doesn’t resolve conflicts of duties
– Recognizes responsibilities – Subject to misinterpretation of duty
– Provides humanistic dimension – Results of acting on duty can be disastrous
– Respects rights of others

Multiple rules

Prima Facie Duties (Ross) – An act is moral if you fulfill your duties; if there is conflict, fulfill the duty to which you are most obligated. Prima facie duties include, but are not limited to: fidelity, gratitude, justice, beneficence, self-improvement, and non-injury.

Strengths Weaknesses
– List of duties is educational in itself – Difficult to determine weight of duties
– Sensitive to consequences – No basic agreement on moral principles

Maximin Principle of Justice (Rawls) – An act is moral if it provides an equal amount of liberty for you and others, except when social or economic inequalities exist. In that case, the worst-off in society should benefit more from the act.

Strengths Weaknesses
– Shows inherent respect for individuals – Concerned only with justice
– Encourages social responsibility by all – Assumes a high level of rationality
– Shows concern for less fortunate – Assumes acting without self-interest

Proportionality (Garrett) – An act is moral if, in engaging in it, you don’t will a major evil to you or anyone else and if you don’t will, risk or permit a minor evil to yourself or anyone else without a proportionate reason.

Strengths Weaknesses
– Synthesizes most useful theories – Definitions are vague
– Provides flexibility without immorality – Highly subjective

You probably noticed that all of these theories have weaknesses. So you may think that selecting an ethical theory is an exercise in futility. However, once you select the ethical theory that you feel is most closely aligned with your core values, you’ll find solving ethical dilemmas much easier. You can recognize the weakness of your method, while feeling confident in your process.

Application: Choose the ethical theory which most closely aligns with your values.

#3 – Use a problem-solving process

Now you know your values and you have a model with which to apply them. The remaining piece is to follow an orderly process to solve the problem, because not all ethical dilemmas are as simple as your friend and her baby that we discussed earlier.

We recommend that you SOLVE IT! That’s our acronym for the timeless problem-solving process. When you follow a process such as this to solve an ethical dilemma, or any problem for that matter, you feel good about your ultimate decision. You know you’ve considered all of the alternatives and chosen the best alternative under the circumstances.

Success Building Blocks: Initiative

By Bigg Success Staff
07-29-08

Timeless Principles

success_pyramid

John Wooden was arguably the best coach in the history of college basketball. He developed the Pyramid of Success, a wonderful tool to succeed bigg in any endeavor you choose.

So far, we’ve looked at the five blocks that form the foundation of the Pyramid – from left to right – Industriousness, Friendship, Loyalty, Cooperation, and Enthusiasm. Then, we moved to the second row and have looked at the two outer blocks –  Self-control on the far left, Intentness on the far right, and then Alertness, which sits next to Self-control.

Now we’ll wrap up the second row of the Pyramid by looking at the middle-right block, sitting above Loyalty and Cooperation.

Initiative

Initiative starts with a deep-down yearning to master your craft. It requires you to think for yourself because you’re the only person who knows the desires of your heart. You have to exhibit courage, in the face of comments and criticism, and keep going.

You also have to develop the ability to make decisions. That’s not always easy. Make a choice and stick with it, until new evidence proves you need to shift your strategy. As evidence mounts, move quickly to pursue your new course.

The prior building blocks have all prepared you for this one. Now it’s time to make a decision and begin to act … to move toward the bigg success of which you dream!

Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show.

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed. 

Related posts

John Wooden’s Pyramid Of Success

Success Building Blocks: Industriousness

Success Building Blocks: Friendship

Success Building Blocks: Loyalty

Success Building Blocks: Enthusiasm

Success Building Blocks: Cooperation

Success Building Blocks: Self-Control

Success Building Blocks: Intentness

Success Building Blocks: Alertness 

Success Building Blocks: Alertness

By Bigg Success Staff
07-22-08

Timeless Principles

success_pyramid

John Wooden was arguably the best coach in the history of college basketball. He developed the Pyramid of Success[pdf], a wonderful tool to succeed bigg in any endeavor you choose.

So far, we’ve looked at the five blocks that form the foundation of the Pyramid – from left to right – Industriousness, Friendship, Loyalty, Cooperation, and Enthusiasm. Then, we started the second row and have looked at the two outer blocks – Self-control on the far left and Intentness on the far right.

Now we’ll look at the middle-left block of the second row, sitting above Friendship and Loyalty.

Alertness

You have to constantly pay attention to what’s going on around you. Be on the lookout for new paradigms which help you understand changes and take advantage of them.

Wooden talks about being quick to spot weaknesses – in yourself and in your competition. If it’s your own weakness, eradicate it rapidly. If your competition exhibits a weakness, move swiftly to take advantage of it.

Observe successful people and figure out how to emulate them. If you constantly look for ways to improve yourself, you’ll continually grow. That’s how you find meaning in what you’re doing, which makes you feel more alive.

Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show.

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed. 

Related posts

John Wooden’s Pyramid Of Success

Success Building Blocks: Industriousness

Success Building Blocks: Friendship

Success Building Blocks: Loyalty

Success Building Blocks: Enthusiasm

Success Building Blocks: Cooperation

Success Building Blocks: Self-Control

Success Building Blocks: Intentness 

Define Success For Your Peace Of Mind 

Success Building Blocks: Intentness

By Bigg Success Staff
07-15-08

Timeless Principles

success_pyramid

John Wooden was arguably the best coach in the history of college basketball. He developed the Pyramid of Success, a wonderful tool to succeed bigg in any endeavor you choose.

So far, we’ve looked at the five blocks that form the foundation of the Pyramid – from left to right – Industriousness, Friendship, Loyalty, Cooperation, and Enthusiasm. Last time, we started the second row by looking at the block on the far left – Self-control.

Now we’ll look at the block on the far right of the second row, sitting above Cooperation and Enthusiasm.

Intentness

This success building block is about goals. Without goals, progress is unlikely if not impossible. We tend to drift instead of moving forward. With our goals fixed firmly in our minds, we have a definiteness of purpose that makes decision-making simpler.

Intentness aids Self-Control. When you know what you want to accomplish, you can resist the ever-present temptations to do something more fun now. Successful people live intentionally – with purpose, on purpose.

Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show.

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Related posts

Success Building Blocks: Self-Control

Success Building Blocks: Industriousness

Success Building Blocks: Friendship

Success Building Blocks: Loyalty

Success Building Blocks: Enthusiasm

Success Building Blocks: Cooperation