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2 Questions and 13 Values

2 Questions and 13 Values

Have you read a biography or watched a program about someone who just seemed to pack so much into one life that you were in awe of that person? Well, Benjamin Franklin is one of those individuals for me. His accomplishments are many, but here are just a few; author, statesman, inventor, publisher, philosopher, entrepreneur and the list continues. In the true sense, he was a renaissance man who enjoyed and explored the sciences and arts exploring what was possible and where improvements could be found to everyday items and ideas.

While exploring Franklin’s life, I came across two questions and a list of 13 virtues that were the foundation of Franklin’s life. Like all of us, he sometimes fell short of these ideals. Ideals are about who and what we want to be, not necessarily about who we are. I thought about them for a while and wanted to put a more business leader slant on them.

Franklin suggested that we ask ourselves these two questions each day:

  • In the morning ask – What good shall I do this day?
  • In the evening ask – What good have I done today?

I suggest as business owners and leaders we should be asking the following questions.

  • In the morning ask – What value or service can I create for my team and customers today?
  • In the evening ask – What value or service have I done for my team and customers today?

Along with these questions, Ben Franklin had 13 moral virtues that he considered of the highest importance if a person was going to be of high character.  In reviewing Franklin’s list I again put on my coaching lens and added a different perspective about what each of these virtues could mean to the entrepreneur.

BEN FRANKLIN’S THIRTEEN MORAL VIRTUES 

  • Temperance. Eat not to Dullness. Drink not to Elevation.

Coach – Be careful of  what you put into your body and avoid substances that can negatively affect your decision making ability

  • Silence. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling Conversation.

Coach – Sometimes less is more, especially when it comes to sales, once you have the yes be quite

  • Order. Let all your Things have their Places. Let each Part of your Business have its Time.

Coach – Nothing more to add here

  • Resolution. Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.

Coach – Follow through and execution separates the dreamers from the doers

  • Frugality. Make no Expense but to do good to others or yourself: i.e. Waste nothing.

Coach – Spending money wisely, make every dollar count and every expense pay you back

  • Industry. Lose no Time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary Actions.

Coach – Nothing more to add here

  • Sincerity. Use no hurtful Deceit. Think innocently and justly; and, if you speak, speak accordingly.

Coach – You will be better off in the long run treating everyone honorably in dead, action and speech even if they do not return the courtesy

  • Justice. Wrong none, by doing Injuries or omitting the Benefits that are your Duty.

Coach – Nothing more to add here

  • Moderation. Avoid Extremes. Forbear resenting Injuries so much as you think they deserve.

Coach – As you reach success, don’t get caught up in the image you think you should have but continue to exercise the values that have brought you to where you are

  • Cleanliness. Tolerate no Uncleanness in Body, Clothes or Habitation.

Coach – Keep yourself and your team looking and acting professional and presentable at all times

  • Tranquility. Be not disturbed at Trifles, or at Accidents common or unavoidable.

Coach – Work to keep an even temperament, decisions made in the heat of passion are often the wrong decision

  • Chastity. Rarely use Venery but for Health or Offspring; Never to Dullness, Weakness, or the Injury of your own or another’s Peace or Reputation.

Coach – Broken trust through impropriety can cause damage to relationships and business reputations as well that may not be recoverable

  • Humility. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Coach – The successful entrepreneur and leader understands that taking responsibility for the failures and giving the team the recognition is what makes a leader great

Coach’s Wrap Up

While we may not be able to have someone like Ben Franklin be a mentor that we can interact with and ask questions about current events, thoughts and circumstances, by taking their writings and applying our lens they can still reach out to us and give use direction and thoughts to ponder.

Question

Who are some of the people who have traveled before us who still mentor or challenge you? How do you relate their teachings and thoughts to your circumstances today?

2 comments

  • Veronica says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for this awesome post and i really appreciate your effort in putting this up. Im just wondering, do you have newsletter where i can signup and receive daily update of your blog?

    Thanks,
    Veronica

    • Greg Payne says:

      Hi Veronica,

      Sorry to be late getting back to you. I do have a newsletter that you can sign up for. The sign up is on the homepage of my website, get2itcoach.com. I can also add you to the mailing list directly if that will be easier for you. Please let me know how I can be of assistance to you.

      Kind Regards,
      Greg

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