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Sat, 16 Nov 2002 16:15:09 -0600
What do you do to keep your spirits up? How to you sustain a culture that is
ethical and in sync with key values? How are your preparing yourself and your
organization for the challenges ahead? How do you keep the well from running
I am in the midst of a global research project on Life Practices. I am looking
for examples of those simple things that we all do that are essential to
expressing and maintaining our values as we face life's ups and downs - our
Life Practices. To date I have received hundreds of e-mails from people in over
Here are some examples that have been contributed:
" 'Water what you want to grow' is my motto. Whenever I see something being
done well I acknowledge it as soon as possible and in some tangible way. The
least that I do is to complement the person doing the thing well. What I try
to do more often is write a note to the person or give them a small gift."
"My life changed when I went from seeing mistakes as awful to seeing them
as the first chapter of a textbook on a new subject. I even had this made
into a sign that hangs on the wall in my office. 'Mistakes are just chapter
one in a textbook on a new subject' Now I get bothered if I don't have some
sort of royal screw-up every few days. It's like I am not trying."
"I learned from my grandfather to 'use the best materials you can afford.'
This has provided a model for my life's work. Even in my late 70's I am
still actively building things and more to the point of your book, I am
still building my life out of "the best materials I can afford."
I am sure you could add a couple of your own Life Practices that are
fundamental to your life and your leadership.
But are they enough? Are they serving you well? And, do the people you lead and
the organization you are a part of have enough of the things that sustain them
to be effective going into the New Year?
Think about how you will provide the internal resources for your self and your
organization to face the year ahead.
Make a commitment to yourself and to your organization.
It is time and effort well spent.
And, if you have a Life Practice or if I can be of some help to you or your
organization, let me know.
Steve Lawler is an ethics consultant and writer based in St Louis, Missouri USA.
He regularly gives workshops on issues of ethics, values and culture. Recently
been quoted in a number of related pieces in publications including the Wall
Street Journal, The Christian Science Monitor and Workforce.com. He was
recently a guest on the Lisa Chiat Show - Talk Radio, Cape Town South Africa.
Lawler has worked with companies in the US and Europe - including Monsanto,
Pulitzer Publishing, and the Danforth Foundation. He has been a lecturer at
Washington University and at Webster University. He is ordained in the
47 Aberdeen Place,
St. Louis, MO 63105 USA
Tel: +1 (314) 727 0323
Cell: +1 (314) 753 7911
Fax: +1 (314) 727 9792
Web Site: www.lawler.org (under construction)
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