Life

isn’t color-coded.  Those who imagine that the value of human lives or whether human lives matter depends on skin color are: racists; have well-below average cognitive horsepower; make their living by ensuring large numbers of human beings see themselves as primarily their skin color.

color_wheel

Do black lives matter?  Not any more than the lives of members of any other race.  And the extent to which human lives matter is best determined by other human beings on an individual basis.

In the world of work as in the larger society, I tend to value human lives according a rule of three.  I ask whether the individual with whom I have contact is:

  1. A person of goodwill;
  2. Oriented to reality;
  3. Competent or moving toward competence.

Obviously a man or woman can be a person of goodwill and still not be oriented to reality or competent.  A human being can be oriented to reality and be a person of ill-will and an incompetent.  A competent person is usually a person oriented to reality, but that person may lack the quality of goodwill.  An individual who meets all three of my criteria, or Christov10’s Big Three, is not often found in media, in politics, in government middle management positions, or really occupying positions prestige in most realms of human endeavor.

I’m reminded again of C.S. Lewis’ address, The Inner Ring.  I’ve either linked to it previously or mentioned it in this space.  I first ran across when working for a largely unknown and strictly small-time (by the standards of modern bureaucracy) state government agency.  It was while so employed that I also developed my Rule of Three, which appears as a numbered list, above.  No imagination should be required to understand why it was that I turned my mind to matters of this sort during that period of my life.  By the way, it was at that time that I first read Victor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning.

Keep your speech free, people of the left, the right, and center.  Resist anyone who tries to silence you and to diminish your ability to think for yourself and experience your own circumstances according to your own perspective and within your own values.  None of that is infallible, but to what extent a genuine manifestation of your real self, to that extent meaningful and of value.

Dos centavos, people, dos centavos.

 

Wednesday’s Leadership Lesson

As I continue to observe and reflect upon the behaviors of human beings in a work context, I have developed standards for judging the usefulness of people as they go about their assigned tasks.  What I am looking for in others is:

  1. Orientation to reality
  2. Competence (and it won’t develop/exist without orientation to reality)
  3. Some evidence of basic goodwill – not a false altruism that thrives in the absence of an orientation to reality

If you haven’t got the first or second of these qualities, you’re not going to be able to produce value or function as a leader.  If you haven’t got the third of these qualities, you will fail to build and maintain trust necessary for the work group or unit to function.  Failures to have and develop these qualities lead inexorably to the Potemkin Village model of public service and, unsubsidized by redistribution of taxpayer wealth, to the collapse of commercial and industrial ventures.

Respect

In the context of leadership, or really, any other, respect is something that is earned, never given.  If you want respect in the workplace, develop competence and produce something of value or add value to the overall process.  Additionally, if you are a person of goodwill, others will see that over time, just as, over time, others will discern your character, whatever it is.

To sum up – develop competence, produce value, exhibit good character if you wish to be respected in the workplace or any other place.

All anyone is entitled to in the workplace is common courtesy and compliance with lawful directives.

Anyone who aspires to serve in a leadership role should remember and think about these things many times throughout the workday.