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Munafo Core Values: MCV15 — Be an Example to Everyone    


Be an Example to Everyone

In case the others do not make it clear, this core value expresses what I am trying to achieve — by being the most vaguely stated! It serves as a catch-all for many smaller points that do not fit into the other core values. For example:

There is an implication of the word good, as in Be a Good Example to Everyone. See below if you care.

The Platinum Rule Role-Model

The advanced version of this core value is a bit like the "platinum rule" discussed in MCV08: To each person, be the type of example they need to have in their life.

When dealing with new territory (new situations, new challenges, new people) I begin with my own conception of what is good: Be an example, based on my own definition of what is a good example, and be aware that everyone sees this example. After some experience with the new territory I find that I can gradually transition to being an appropriate example for each person who sees me. In other words, I adjust what type of example I am being as my "audience" changes.

(By the way, I do not wish to suggest that others don't do the same thing. However, I am clear that most people don't think about it, and most people don't realize that this is what they're doing. This is completely consistent with the idea that core values are patterns of behavior, not rules to live by. People live by a core value without thinking about it because they exhibit the behavior described by the core value.)

MCV15 for Teams

When this core value is present:

The team is being an example to other teams. (+mcv15a)

When this core value is lacking:

The team feels pride, but for all the old familiar reasons. It feels that something could be better. (-mcv15a)

Why not be a "good" example?

The word good is consciously left out to respect the fact that people disagree as to what constitutes a good example. Because these are personal core values, when I read them I hear the word good when I read them to myself. However if I explicitly included the word good the listener could doubt my objectivity in judging "goodness".

Here is a common example — consider a deadbeat father: he is not a "good" example to his children, but he nevertheless results in the children striving to be good themselves, usually with an accompanying statement to the effect that "He is/was so terrible that I resolve to never be like him in any way!". Thus in theory, even a "bad example" can be a useful thing.

I don't take such a radical stand, I merely assert that goodness is in the eye of the beholder and I merely strive to "be an example".

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