Losing Your Compass? Try Simple Philosophy.

compassPart Four of a series on Ethical Leadership — many more to come. "The higher the buildings, the lower the morals." - Noel Coward

In the past three parts of this series, I've endeavored to lay out ways for leaders to strengthen their ethics and how to apply it to their leadership style. Some are hard and some are easy. This is an easy one:

Get Philosophy into your life.

It could take many forms - religion, classes, books, people, etc. But a strong dose of philosphical study in your life will allow you to become more grounded and keep you thinking about past, present, and future ethical positions. Some suggestions:

  1. Religion - If you are at all religious, hit a church, synagogue, or organization to reacquaint yourself with the ethical and moral teachings of that religion. It's not taxing, doesn't cost a lot of money, and you surround yourself with a lot of people who believe the same way you do. And when you hit an ethical pothole in the road, you can lean on them to send you on the straight and narrow once again.
  2. Books - Read! There are thousands of philosophers out there. If you like the classics, dive into them. If you like the moderns, there are many to choose from. I especially love the ethical textbooks from college - they present differing points of view of an ethical choice - and they really make you think (email me for a list of great texts - richgee@richgee.com).
  3. Speakers - Go to one of their meetings. Listen and see how you can begin to incorporate some of their teachings into your life. The worse that can happen is that you don't agree with their position - you can then walk out.

By taking this first step, it allows you to always have an 'ethical rudder' on your life - it will guide you in your business and personal life.