Would you go to work for a cigarette company promoting the increased sale of its cigarettes?  On average cigarette companies pay approximately a twenty-five (25%) wage premium to their employees.  It is even higher to secure a non-smoker to join their cigarette company.  In fact, most cigarette companies do even attempt to hire non-smokers.

Why is this?   Health issues plague the cigarette industry.  The context of this industry is, on multiple levels, experienced as unhealthy.   Most individuals who are health conscious do not want to be associated with something as unhealthy as cigarettes.

Having done thousands of Clarity Experiences, all initiatives are, at their core, driven by the organization’s values.  Within a few hours The Clarity Experience:

Identifies the vital key issues which will enable a company to become the most successful organization in its domain.

Clarify the interrelationships between the key issues.

Align the entire management group on the steps to be executed to be the most successful organization within its domain.

In every case participants agree values drive everything. Sometimes, to reach this conclusion, it requires a great deal of dialogue/discussion. Here:  Courtney Seiter – Creating Values.

So how important are values?  They are primary.  If you look deeply at any company dispute it is almost always, at its core, a values issue.  Clarity on issues in thus critical for the organization’s long-term success.  People voluntarily join almost every initiative because of its values.

Granted, many companies have a list of values they profess to espouse.  Usually, there are too many values to be remembered.  In addition, they seldom are operationally defined.  Even when values are operationally defined they are most often defined as nouns.

A common noun is used to identify any of a class of people, places or things.  What is the problem with this?  Initiatives are basically “in motion” and nouns are stationary.  Hence, nouns are not an ideal fit.

What is a better fit?  How about verbs?  A verb is a word used to describe an action, or occurrence, and forming the main part of the predicate of a sentence, such as hearbecomehappen.  In short, it is in action; it is in motion.  Nouns are usually stationary.

Humans and businesses are basically “bodies in motion”. This means both are more verb-like than noun-like.  Hence with this in mind, defining values operationally as verbs make more sense.

Most people and organizations have many values.  However, it is best to limit the values to no more than five. Why?  Because these values have to be inculcated into every member of the team and demonstrated by their actions. Examples: Company Values.

This means that everyone must know and abide by these values when doing anything.  To know more than five values and to adhere to their verb-based operational behaviors is just too much for most team members.

Below are the values operationally defined as verbs of Burklyn.earth

Integrity Am I living my values in this situation?
Abundance Am I willing to include others in this situation?
Love Am I taking action from a genuine appreciation for all living things?
Grace Am I viewing everything as perfect – even if I don’t see it at the moment?
Interested Am I authentically engaged with everyone in this situation?

Memory device: GALii

As you notice below the verbed values is GALii.  This is a memory aid often called a mnemonic.  It represents the first letter of each of the five values.  Sometimes it spells a word; that makes it relatively easy to remember. If no word can be created, (like the above) then some sort of word combination needs to be created.  In this case, GALii has created: a GAL with two beautiful eyes.

A further memory aid is to create an exaggerated visual image.  The more ridiculous the visual memory the better.  The exaggerated visual image for the above values is a gallon plastic jug with two eyes peering out = GALii.

Once your organization has its bedrock verbed values, it must then embrace a key life paradox: responsibility and surrender. A paradox is a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition.  Yet, when investigated at a meta level, the mash-up of the two explains a higher-level truth that either word can muster on its own.  Harvard: Paradox of Productivity.

On the responsibility side Emerson’s Self-Reliance is key:

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency, a great soul has simply nothing to do.He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speaks what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradicts everything you said to-day–‘Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood—Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh.  To be great is to be misunderstood.

On the surrender side is Buckminster Fuller is key:

You didn’t create the Universe and you are not running it.  When you devote your time and attention to the benefit of others you can rest assured the Universe will support you, always and only in the nick of time. (Bucky:

Nature is always most economical, so its support has to be in the “nick of time”.  If it came earlier it would not be most economical.)

A meta-level word needs to be created to describe this paradox.  Until then we are stuck with the Divine Paradox.

  1. We are free and should do as we wish.
  2. Despite this “independence” the outcome of this freedom is out of our hands.
  3. There is some kind of beneficial force that controls the outcome (an existence of a higher power).
  4. Complete separation between humanity and divinity is thus not available to Earthians.

The best humans can do is be self-reliant in our actions while being consistent with our values.  At the same time, focus on the highest advantage of others.  Once this is done, surrender to the outcomes, knowing that life is working FOR you even if, at times, it may not make sense to you.

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Attorney, real estate developer, businessman, educator, editor, scholar, inventor, negotiator, author, visionary and public speaker. Marshall holds a BA degree from Union College of New York: The Cohen H. Kerr award for the highest academic average at Boston University; Boston University’s Utopia Award and the Maud Folsom Foundation Award which grants an annual scholarship for as long as an individual attends school or until age thirty-five.
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