Why philosophy matters

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  1. 1. Why Philosophy Matters Murray Johannsen
  2. 2. Principles A principle is a law or rule that has to be, or usually is to be followed, or can be desirably followed, or is an inevitable consequence of something, such as the laws of nature or the way that a device is constructed. Examples of principles: a descriptive comprehensive and fundamental law, doctrine, or assumption a normative rule or code of conduct, a law or fact of nature underlying the working of an artificial device.
  3. 3. Politics! In business, politics is the art of getting things done and reaping the benefits; it provides the power to get things done against opposition, avoiding negative implications and often producing positive effects in the career for the doer. The informal, unwritten procedures for making things happen or not happen in an organization. The unwritten and hardly ever spoken-out-loud norms of conducting oneself in order to successfully achieve one's goals and be rewarded for the achievement.
  4. 4. Quote! Policies are many, Principles are few, Policies will change, Principles never do. John Maxwell
  5. 5. Philosophy & Principles Leaders need a philosophya set of principles by used to guide their own actions and the actions of others. All leaders need a guide to action, a guide for behavior, a set of principle to live by if they are to evolve and become wise.
  6. 6. Why Philosophy Matters WE assume leaders have a higher responsibility, a higher calling than to simply follow authority they must come up with a set of principles that they can live by and share with followers. Definition of Philosophy Definition of Philosophy
  7. 7. Definition of Philosophy The word comes from Ancient Greek. It consists of two elements: [sophos meaning love] & [philos meaning wisdom] A philosophy involves principles, values and traits that continue and continue and continue through-out life. So it is more about the path, not the destination.
  8. 8. Definition of Philosophy The key is live by, since a philosophy should serve as a guide to life and business. One sees this kind of leadership philosophy fully developed in the teachings and life example of great religious figures such as Jesus Christ.
  9. 9. Why Develop a Success Philosophy? To Prepare Yourself Life posses many problems, many crisiswe are all tested. Defining a philosophy includes looking at personal development areas that help one prepare for the challenges of life.
  10. 10. To Counter The Corrupting Effects of Money and Power Leaders without a philosophy are like the leaf not tied to the branch you get blown anywhere the winds take you Murray Johannsen. There is a fundamental truth to Lord Actions famous saying, the first half of which goes, Power corrupts. If he where alive today, Lord Acton would no doubt agree that in the modern world, money corrupts just as much as power.
  11. 11. To Counter The Corrupting Effects of Money and Power And so we sometimes see in the powerful, the second half of his saying, . . . and absolute power corrupts absolutely. We see too many individuals using their influence to benefit themselves or their in- group at the expense of everyone else. Without a set of uplifting principles and a bedrock solid set of character traits, the elite tend to exercise selfish power.
  12. 12. To Counter a Lack of Meaning In Life The doors of opportunity more open for those best prepared to walk through it. Murray Johannsen. It was Viktor Frankl's belief that many people feel that life has no meaning. This is also seen in the very wealthy, according to Jessie O'Neil who wrote the book The Golden Ghetto. Because many feel alienated and alone, they may conclude that their lives having little meaning. However, we do possess the ability to create our own values and so add more meaning to our lives.
  13. 13. To Accelerate Personal Growth One definition of managerial insanity: Doing the same things, the same way but expecting better results. American Saying Many businesses walk the path of continuous improvement. They understand that it's required to successfully compete and execute on a competitive advantage. However, many managers and executives are stuck in a rut of the same routine. Establishing a philosophy can serve as one method of overcoming complacency.
  14. 14. To Accelerate Personal Growth "The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because philosophy is an exalted activity, will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water." John Gardner, Source: wisdomquotes.com
  15. 15. Establishing Your Leadership Philosophy The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non- essentials. Lin Yutang, Source: wisdomquotes.com Developing a philosophy takes time but it can be shortened. The following are some guidelines for developing your own leadership philosophy.
  16. 16. Philosophical Guideline 1: A Good Philosophy Has A Number of Guiding Principles If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable. Seneca, Source: Said What Editors and authors like to put numbers on things. For example, there are seven habits, (The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People), oops, I mean eight. Or maybe there are twenty-one. (The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You).
  17. 17. Philosophical Guideline 1: These are worthwhile books, but it's important to realize there is no magic number since your situation and responsibilities are not the same as someone else. For example, a supervisor on an assembly line would likely have a different set than a Hollywood director. A Good Philosophy Has A Number of Guiding Principles
  18. 18. Leadership Principle 2: A Faulty Philosophy Has Unintended Consequences Its sometimes easy to forget how easily untended consequences can occur. Take the following story as an example: A businessman decided to to send his wife a quick e- mail when he was on a business trip. Unfortunately, he missed one letter and his note was directed instead to an elderly preachers wife, whose husband had passed away only the day before.
  19. 19. Leadership Principle 2: When the grieving widow checked her e-mail, she took one look at the screen, let out a scream, and fell to the floor in a faint. Her family rushed into the room and saw on the screen: Dearest Wife, Just got checked in. Everything prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Your Loving Husband PS. Sure is hot down here
  20. 20. Leadership Principle 2: Years ago there was a very beneficial philosophy of business known as Total Quality Management. Those businesses that acted on these ideas improved product and service quality gaining a competitive advantage by doing so. One of the central principles underlying this philosophy was known as, "Continuous Process Improvement."
  21. 21. Leadership Principle 2: There was nothing wrong with this leadership principle, but it was incomplete since it allowed businesses to perfect process, but not perfect people. So you had a paradox of flawed (meaning unskilled people) trying to perform in a process requiring perfection. A better way to state this philosophical principle would have been, "Continuously improve people and processes."
  22. 22. Philosophical Principle 3: Your Philosophy Should Change and Evolve Men like the opinions to which they have become accustomed from youth; this prevents them from finding the truth, for they cling to the opinions of habit. Moses Maimonides, 1135-1204, Egyptian physician and philosopher, Guide for the Perplexed A good philosophy is not cast in concreteit can change. This is easy to say, but usually this does not happen. This reminds me of a story:
  23. 23. Philosophical Principle 3: The university president sighed as he went over the proposed budget offered him by the head of the department of physics. "Why is it," he said, mournfully, "that you physicists always require so much expensive equipment? Now the department of mathematics requires nothing of me but money for paper, pencils, and erasers." He thought a while longer and added, "And the department of philosophy is better still. It doesn't even ask for erasers." Source: Asimov, The Humor Treasury. Moral of the Story: Beliefs Once Formed Rarely Change
  24. 24. : Leadership Principle 4: It's Not Real Until Written My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition. Indira Gandhi
  25. 25. Leadership Principle 4: A wise business leader will take the time to write something down on paper. This simple act forces you to clarify your thinking and define what's important. To give you an example of how this works, you should look into the life example of author, publisher, entrepreneur, scientist, inventor, diplomat, statesman and leader known as Benjamin Franklin. It's Not Real Until Written
  26. 26. Wrap-up: Greet leaders need to have a philosophya set of theory that guides their actions. It helps you know whether you are on the right road and if your actions are wise. To not do so means you are like a leaf blown on the wind with no branch to hang onto in the tree of life. There is no statement so absurd that no philosopher will make it.Cicero, Source: wisdomquotes.com