Absolutes or Relatives in Culture and Leadership

It is the age-old discussion of absolutes (founded dogma and hard-rock principles), or, relativism (changing ideas and ethereal principles). I say absolutes all day.

For example, try removing the traffic signals and the speed limits for one day in America. That would be memorable and costly. Our generation values Doctors way more than we value police officers. Why? Because we would rather have it our way until we need to be treated.

If a nation loses absolutes, it loses distinction. Equality & relativism make amoebas out of culture. How? An amoeba is something w/o permanent or supporting structures. It is a one cell, colorless organism that changes shape all the time. Is that the kind of culture we want? A nation that is sometimes this way and sometimes that way is never on target.

Distinction doesn't come from obscurity or vagueness. It is absolute. It is unique and identifiable.

It has been an often misunderstood text, but, Proverbs 29.18 says that "Where there is no vision, the people perish." Other versions use language like "revelation" or "the people cast off restraint". What this text is saying literally is "Where there is no graph or map, the people run around aimless without objectives."

This is where leadership and mission come into play. Every organization needs a mission to be successful. A statement of purpose that guides the company to a 'win'. Something measureable. Give me your mission in one sentence. Here are the rules:

  • choose 1 word that describes it best
  • use adjectives
  • create a picture or story
  • start with one word, then go to 5 words, and then land on 12
  • say it, say it again, and say it one more time
Jeff Grenell