What is a moral compass?
To me, it is my deep-rooted beliefs and values that guide how I conduct myself—not just some of the time, but all of the time, even when others are not watching. In business and in our personal lives, common advice drives us to focus on the results we want to achieve (the what). Our moral compass helps direct us by also emphasizing the why and the how we should act.
Think about something as simple as your trash blowing into your neighbor’s yard. Do you leave the trash or go pick it up? It depends on your moral compass. Do you act the same way if you don’t like the neighbor?
It’s important to note that not everyone’s compass is calibrated similarly. Take the above example: some may leave the trash, others may pick it up, and still others will pick it up even though it is not their trash.
While this example may seem trivial, moral compasses can lead to much more profound impact. Compare Hitler’s moral compass to that of Roosevelt’s. Both men were of the same era; leaders of their countries that faced similar economic issues. Yet, their approaches to helping their countries were very different. One could argue that Roosevelt and Hitler both had similar goals for the success of their respective countries, but their individual moral compasses led them to work towards those goals in dramatically different ways.
Last week, I discussed the many contradictions and decisions we are confronted with on a daily basis, some tougher to reconcile than others. When in doubt, approach these choices by consulting your moral compass. How you choose will be heavily influenced by your deep-rooted beliefs, values, and priorities.
My personal moral compass is similar to Roosevelt’s. I believe in helping others and watching them succeed. That is what we have built J2 on.
What’s your moral compass?
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.
Have a great weekend.
About Friday Food for Thought (FFfT)
I frequently attend conferences and retreats on entrepreneurship and leadership and while I am away, the J2 team picks up the slack, allowing me to learn to be better at what I do. I wanted to share what I was learning with my team, so I created the weekly FFfT emails in November of 2015 and have been writing them ever since.
Before long, the J2 staff began sharing the FFfT emails with their friends and family and now other leaders have asked to be included, which led to the creation of this newsletter. I hope you enjoy!