Aha! Moment Monday
Do different generations operate under different values?
It’s comfortable for us to be in the company of people born in the same decade because we get one another but is that because of music or economic conditions or opportunities or is it about values?
One hundred years ago a “new economy” emerged and Dale Carnegie transitioned from poor-family-farm-boy to a leader in personal development having recognized it. Historian Warren Susman called it a shift from a Culture of Character to a Culture of Personality. Interesting … the word “personality” didn’t even exist in the English language until the eighteenth century and the concept of having a “good personality” wasn’t a thing until the twentieth century.
Why is this important to note?
The Culture of Character Susman identified was based on values: citizenship, work, honor, reputation, morals, manners, integrity – to name a few – and at a time when the term “quiet leader” was not an oxymoron. The Culture of Personality was developed in response to a competitive business society where people flocked to the cities and the birth of the magnetic, fascinating, energetic, charming, even attractive “salesman” became the ideal. Extroverts – who can easily strike up a conversation, make killer first-impressions and are comfy rallying and speaking to large groups – became the celebrated, desirable personality. The quieter “thinkers” – preferring more in-depth conversations in smaller groups, independent work, disciplined and create impact without creating noise – were inaccurately labelled as “shy” and strongly nudged to adopt an outgoing personality if they wanted a position of power.
What did we lose in this transition of character preference? When we started working with strangers outside our village focused on getting our piece of the proverbial pie, did we reframe “masterful” in a healthy way?
Aha! ~ Old fashioned values never go out of style
Watch the people of Newfoundland, famous for their unprecedented display of “community” during 911 make history again now, this time with encumbering, record snowfalls and a typical “villager” response. Newfoundlanders’ values are unshakeable.
Dr. Rick Rigsby, author of Lessons from a Third Grade Dropout: How the Timeless Wisdom Can Impact a Generation received over 200 million views online of his iconic speech in 2017. The “lessons” (from his dropout dad) were rooted in values; doing the right thing regardless of who is watching, being of service, showing up on time, extending kindness and always doing your best. Dr. Rigsby says we’re living in a time when looking your best is more important than doing your best and the casualty is the absence of common sense.
What level of impact could we have if we raised our expectation of ourselves and focused on lifting up those around us?
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