If there are seasons to our thinking, then December and January are the season when our thoughts shift to our values and possibly the reawakening and renewal of value based behavior in the coming year.

As I look at our world and particularly this passing year, there are many good things to be thankful for. Sadly, there are many things to be discouraged about as well. While our economy is good, the threat of trouble looms on the horizon. While we have plenty of candidates for President, there aren¡¦t any that have truly captured the imagination of a country in need of real leadership. While we are benefiting from low cost products from China, we are also at risk from products that are not always safe. At the same time we are faced with ongoing terrorism in the world and the threat of nuclear holocaust. Gandhi pretty well outlined our problems in 1925 with his Seven Sins:

Politics without Principle
Wealth without Work
Pleasure without Conscience
Knowledge without Character
Commerce without Morality
Science without Humanity
Worship without Sacrifice

For more on the Seven Deadly Sins, you might want to pick up a copy of Stephen Covey¡¦s ¡§Principle Centered Leadership.¡¨

Theodore Roosevelt also had a pretty good handle on what makes America great and what can destroy America when he said, ¡§Americanism means the virtues of courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity, and hardihood ¡V The virtues that made America. The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price¡K The love of soft living and the get-rich-quick theory of life.¡¨

Jon Huntsman in his book ¡§Winners Never Cheat¡¨ may have provided a great roadmap for the New Year with his suggestions.

• ¡§Begin with a question when you engage in something that affects others: Is this right? Would I like to be treated this way?
• Take your values to work. Don¡¦t disconnect them when you sit down at your desk. There should not be tension between making profits and adhering to traditional principles of decency and fairness.
• Consider yourself your brothers¡¦ and sisters¡¦ keeper when setting the example for ethical behavior.
• Make the underpinnings of your life a string of f-words (at least phonetically): family, faith, fortitude, fairness, fidelity, friendship and philanthropy.¡¨

As leaders, we owe it to our customers, our employees and our employers to set the standard. Make 2008 the Best Year Ever!

Author's Bio: 

㦠Copyright Bob Cannon/The Cannon Advantage, 2007. All rights reserved.

Bob Cannon turns managers into leaders who enhance performance and profitability in their organizations. Check out other interesting articles available in the Taking Aim newsletter available at www.cannonadvantage.com. Bob can be reached at (216) 408-9495 or mailto: bob@cannonadvantage.com

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