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Jon Sharpe, founder of the Just Business Roundtable speaks to the value of good.
Everyone wants to be famous. Everyone wants to be rich. Everyone wants to be powerful. These are the drivers in our culture that are so often applauded, lauded and taught at seminars around the country. Most us want to be like the high performers we see every day on the big screen or in the media. We are sold by a constant cultural messaging that we can be anything we want to be. We can be great! We can excel and go to the top of every system by working harder, smarter and if that fails by cheating the system.
My dad used to tell me to play the game and win by the rules. If you lost playing by the rules you at least gave it your best. I soon found out that my dad grew up in a far different world that the one I had entered. Early in my young sports life I learned that people cheated and twisted rules to win and that in our world it was deemed cunning and smart if you were able to win.
I remember Tony Campolo telling audiences how his mother did not care if he was happy but she did care if he was good.Tony said that she was focused on good and not happy. The idea that being good is one of our highest earned credits in life has gone missing. It has not escaped my notice that the writer of Genesis tells us that God created earth, creatures, and humanity and then announced, "It is good."
Famous people through the centuries are often the villains of their time.They were often the warriors and killers who conquered others with violence and cruelty. The Godfathers and the dictators of history were not nice guys and were certainly not good guys. If we hope to have a world where we will be able to raise our children free from addictions, mental disorders and human depravity we need to focus on being good and perhaps quit chasing the illusive sense of greatness. Being good means having values of love, courage, honor, mercy, forgiveness, perseverance and trust. How about shifting our focus from great to good?
Leadership without learning to follow is dangerous to the leader and their followers. A leader who has not been effectively disciplined by another rarely appreciates the nuances of human development and behavior. Those who fall under their leadership are in danger of being abused by the leader's whims.