7. Politics Without Principle :
If there is no principle, there is no true north, nothing you can depend upon. The focus on the personality ethic is the instant creation of an image that sells well in the social and economic marketplace.
You see politicians spending millions of dollars to create an image, even though it's superficial, lacking substance, in order to get votes and gain office. And when it works, it leads to a political system operating independently of the natural laws that should govern - - that are built into the Declaration of Independence : "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness . . . . "
In other words, they are describing self-evident, external, observable, natural, unarguable, self-evident laws: "We hold these Truths to be self-evident." The key to a healthy society is to get the social will, the value system, aligned with correct principles. You then have the compass needle pointing to true north - true north representing the external or the natural law - and the indicator says that is what we are building our value system on : they are aligned.
But if you get a sick social will behind the political will that is independent of principle, you could have a very sick organization or society with distorted values. For instance, the professed mission and shared values of criminals who rape, rob and plunder might sound very much like many corporate mission statements, using such words as "teamwork," "cooperation," "loyalty," "profitability," "innovation," and "creativity." The problem is that their value system is not based on a natural law.
Figuratively, inside many corporations with lofty mission statements, many people are being mugged in broad daylight in front of witnesses. Or they are being robbed of self-esteem, money, or position without due process. And if there is no social will behind the principles of due process, and if you can't get due process, you have to go to the jury of your peers and engage in counterculture sabotage.
In the movie The Ten Commandments, Moses says to the pharaoh, "We are to be governed by God's law, not by you." In effect he's saying, "We will not be governed by a person unless that person embodies the law." In the best societies and organizations, natural laws and principles govern - that's the Constitution - and even the top people must bow to the principle. No one is above it.
The Seven Habits will help you avoid these Seven Deadly Sins.
And if you don't buy into the Seven Habits, try the Ten Commandments.
Principle Centered Leadership : Chapter 9 - Principle-Centered Power - Page 108
To some, these principles and the ideals they represent are readily attributable to notable leaders of distinction such as Mahatma Gandhi, but they are harder to find in the much more common experiences of everyday living. In response to this concern, Gandhi replied, "I claim to be no more than an average man with less than average ability. I am not a visionary. I claim to be a practical idealist. Nor can I claim any special merit for what I have been able to achieve with laborious research. I have not the shadow of a doubt that any man or woman can achieve what I have, if he or she would make the same effort and cultivate the same hope and faith.
A Personal Note - Page 323
Gandhi emphasized : "A person cannot do right in one department whilst attempting to do wrong in another department. Life is one indivisible whole. "
Dr. Stephen R. Covey
"Dr. Stephen R. Covey - one of the world's leading management consultants and author of the best selling book The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People - is co-chairman of Franklin Covey located in Salt Lake City, Utah in the U.S.A. Franklin Covey provides consultancy services to Fortune 500 companies as well as thousand of small and mid-size companies, educational institutions, government and other organisations world-wide. Their work in Principle Centered Leadership is considered to be an instrumental foundation to the effectiveness of quality, leadership, service, team building, organisational alignment and other strategic corporate initiatives.
Excerpts from Chapter 7 - SevenDeadly Sins - Page 87 to 93
Mahatma Gandhi said that seven things will destroy us. Notice that all of them have to do with social and political conditions. Note also that the antidote of each of these "deadly sins" is an explicit external standard or something that is based on natural principles and laws, not on social values.