The more I read, the more "must reads" there seem to be---articles and books that I find myself recommending to friends that both aid in understanding complex issues and are helpful in navigating the increasing complexities of living in these interesting times. Of course, most people throughout human history have thought they live in interesting times since we, collectively, have a limited knowledge of our collective past. Thus, as the philosophers tell us we are bound to repeat our history over and over.
My current "must read" is August Turak's four part series, entitled Business Secrets of the Trappists, published on FORBES on-line. Specifically, business and government leaders could learn alot from a careful reading of the delightful, thoughful and timely essays. For the rest of us, St. Benedict's philosophy is powerfully and usefully didactic.
A little taste to entice you to a more careful read may be helpful. Turak calls the Trappist management philosophy "service and selflessness" with seven (7) tenets:
(1) Have a powerful mission worthy of accomplishment.
(2) Demonstrate selflessness.
(3) Commit to excellence (not talk but action).
(4) Uncompromising commitment to the highest ethical standards
(6) Demonstrating trust.
(7) Practice what you preach.
None of us spend enough time examining "high principles" (1500 year old high principles). We would serve ourselves, our customers, and each other well to practice some of what we say we believe. We cannot and will not be perfect, nor is is desirable, but we should work at improving ourselves first and observing, amazed, our world improving.