In the World of Poor Behavior, a Call for Personal Accountability

To a Readers: I’m honored to republish, along with permission, an article simply by Rodger Dean Duncan that first appeared within Forbes January 26, 2021. In it, he or she interviewed me regarding personal accountability.

— Frank Sonnenberg

In a World of Bad Habits, A Call for Individual Accountability

By Rodger Dean Duncan PhD along with Frank Sonnenberg

When I was obviously a boy of about 5, I loved thumbing through my grandmother’s nature books.

One day I stumbled upon a full-color picture of a butterfly emerging from its cocoon. I had been fascinated by the image, plus my grandmother gave me a brief tutorial on metamorphosis. It was the biggest word I’d heard.

Afterwards that day I used to be introduced to another large word: conscience.

When the grandmother left the space, I carefully and quietly tore the photo out of the book.

Some thing inside my five-year-old brain and heart told me I was becoming naughty. Who knows? Probably I rationalized that because I tore the page away quietly it wasn’t really a big deal. Or maybe We reasoned that since it was just a solitary page out of hundreds, nobody would actually notice and I wouldn’t get busted.

But I did so. Get busted, which is.

Later that same afternoon, my grandmother faced me with my crime. (What could it be about grandmothers? Do they have some kind of unique radar? )

Let’s simply say my grandma and I had a conversation. I distinctly remember two things about that will talk. First, my grandmother said she wasn’t angry with me, but she had been very disappointed. Ouch! Then she trained me about conscience.

I confessed that I knew violating one of the girl books was wrong. I probably also offered a couple of lame excuses. But because my grandmother described that wonderful point called conscience, We came to understand that Dont really have to fly single when making choices plus reaching decisions.

Then she delivered a seven-word lesson that has served me well in all the decades since: “A clear conscience is a great pillow. ”

Today, many people seem to regard the notion of “conscience” as old-fashioned. Daily head lines are crowded along with examples of hypocrisy, picky obedience, victimhood, projected blame, and a common lack of self-awareness. It raises concerns about how exactly this modeling will affect upcoming generations.

One particular clarion call for integrity-based behavior is Frank Sonnenberg, author of Listen to Your own Conscience: That’s Las vegas dui attorney Have One .

Frank is a well known advocate for moral character and personal obligation and has been called “One of American’s Top Thought Commanders. ” The urge for food for his encouraging message is obviously large: his weblog reaches almost four million readers and his numerous textbooks are bestsellers. He has served on a number of boards and conferred with to some of the world’s largest and most recognized companies.

I read about 120 books each year plus consume a daily dose of news nourishes, blogs, podcasts as well as other sources of information plus ideas. I’m thankful that I can at all times return to Frank for a refreshing and dependable serving of the really good stuff. He’s the profound thinker whom brings insightful viewpoint to life’s most important issues.

Rodger Dean Duncan: In an entire world beset with a lot cynicism and intolerance, you focus on classic principles like endurance, kindness, and personal obligation. There’s clearly a good appetite for such positive things. So why does the “negative” still capture a lot mindshare in our community?

Frank Sonnenberg: Your brain is hard-wired in order to gravitate toward harmful stimuli and even dwell on gloomy information. This particular bias is the consequence of evolution in which we were forced to pay attention to threats and dangers for the survival. Unfortunately, there are a great number of people and organizations who exploit this phenomenon for personal plus financial gain. Social media is also a gathering place for negativity; many people say things on social media that they would not say in person.

I want to be a force for good — to help people do their best and be their best. I would like my message to become positive, constructive, and inspiring. The fact is, your own mindset matters greater than you think. A positive mental attitude can increase your health, enhance your associations, increase your chances of success, and add years to your life. In addition , a positive outlook is critical to performance. For example , if you believe you are going to be successful, you are going to view your own prospects differently compared to if you think, “People like me never stand an opportunity. ” If you believe you can’t, you won’t.

Duncan: What impact, if any, do you consider the Covid outbreak has had on the reputation of your blog?

Sonnenberg: The Covid outbreak has turned existence upside down. Besides the illness that it causes, they have prompted us to open our eyes plus appreciate the important things in life. Many folks have taken such things as freedom, unrestricted journey, and sharing exclusive moments with family for granted. I hope we never underestimate those treasures again.

Additionally , self-reflection has powered people to search for objective and define what’s important in life. Would you place more value on relationships or even things? Do you establish good or let other people define it for you? What criteria would you use to determine pleasure? Would you choose to be friends with yourself? Do you spend more time thinking ahead or reliving yesteryear? How do you want to be appreciated? I hope my creating helps people get around their quest for which means. As I say, “Everyone was put on this particular earth for a reason … what’s yours? ”

Duncan: A person advise people to pull out the weeds or even make peace with all the dandelions. What do you mean by that?

Sonnenberg: Most things in every area of your life are the result of options that we make. You can live a healthy way of life or be a couch potato. You can invest in your future or spend money like a drunken sailor. You are able to listen to your mind or fall victim to temptation. The point is, you have freedom to choose, but you’re not really free from the consequences of these choices.

So take the bull by the horns plus own your life. Arranged your course, associated with difficult choices, and determine what you’re ready to sacrifice to achieve your goals. There’s no easy road to success. It takes hard work, commitment, and unyielding determination — don’t let people convince you otherwise. Nevertheless, if you’re not prepared to make the commitment, do not complain about the end result.

Life doesn’t happen to a person; it’s created by you. Either make factors happen or learn how to live with the after effects. As I say, “Choices are easy. The tough part is definitely living with them. ”

Duncan: Excellence is normally regarded as something really worth seeking. Perfectionism, though, has its drawbacks. In fact , you declare a perfectionist’s function is never performed. Please elaborate.

Sonnenberg: If you’re a perfectionist, you strive for excellence in everything you do. But therein is situated the rub. It doesn’t matter whether the task will be large or little, essential or unimportant, urgent or program, you go to the ends of the earth to attain perfection. Is it worthwhile? If you overwhelm yourself with information in search of the perfect answer, you might become indecisive; in case you spend too much time scuba diving into details, you might end up missing the best picture; if you start things but never finish them, you accomplish nothing.

If you’re the perfectionist, you probably make everything into a competition — always pressing —never satisfied. What’s the incremental advantage of choosing perfection more than excellence? Moreover, what do you lose in the process? Keep yourself up to a high standard , not an difficult one . Are you unpleasant saying, “I’m finished” because an activity may always be improved? Would you search forever when making a minor purchase? Would you delegate responsibility and after that micromanage because you can not let go? As I state, “If you believe that excellence isn’t good enough, you may wake up 1 day and realize that your own quest for perfection was anything but perfect. ”

Duncan: At a time when information is more readily available than at any time of all time, you offer this particular observation, “The only difference between becoming uninformed and getting misinformed is that you are your choice and the additional is theirs. ” So what do you see as best methods in identifying — and eliminating — blind spots?

Sonnenberg: You might be bombarded with info every day. You lookup the Internet, obtain recommendations from family and friends, read product reviews, and hear the news on TV plus via social media. While the information is abundant and easily accessible, a few of the information is completely inaccurate. The key is to scrutinize the information that you receive plus harness it to your benefit — evaluating it for accuracy, credibility, objectivity, timeliness, plus thoroughness.

Do you: Get details secondhand or from its original source ? Accept everything at face value or view it with a healthy dose of skepticism? Believe something’s accurate because it’s well-presented or based on its merit ? Determine whether the message will be one-sided or presents both sides of the issue? Evaluate if the information is opinion or fact ? Accept the information blindly or ask how the summary was drawn?

Most people spend a lot of attention to the food they put into their entire body. If you’re that cautious about the food a person consume, shouldn’t you be equally advisable about how you give food to your mind? Your thoughts, views, and beliefs hang in the balance.

Duncan: Some say we live in a world where “everybody gets the trophy. ” A person say that “people stop trying when there’s no benefit for being outstanding and no consequence for being mediocre. ” How does that apply to overall performance cultures in business institutions?

Sonnenberg: Every company needs the best plus brightest people to sign up for its team. Precisely why would anyone penalize these shining celebrities? The sad fact is that we do it every day. When rewards are based on reputation, bias, or cronyism rather than on moral character and real performance, it sends a terrible signal to the people who work hard plus achieve results.

When you fail to recognize and incentive exceptional performance, you raise the obvious query, “Why should I care if they don’t? ” The next time you see an organization drowning in mediocrity, where no one cares, ask yourself, “Is apathy their fault or even is it the organization’s failing? ”

We don’t gain anything through lowering the club so that everyone may clear it. We all also don’t gain anything by robbing people of the rewards that they richly deserve. It is time to demand quality, and to recognize plus reward it, as well.

Duncan: Entrepreneurship much more popular than ever. Your advice is that “personal branding is much less a marketing physical exercise than it is getting the best person you may be. ” What does that look like in visible behavior?

Sonnenberg: When folks use the term personal branding , the first thing that occurs to you is how to package yourself. They view it as a PR or even marketing exercise. In my opinion you can’t develop a high quality reputation based on smoke and mirrors.

Your brand name is a reflection associated with who you are and how you choose to live your life. Ignore your to-do list and create a to-be list.

Be the individual others look up in order to — whose personality is beyond reproach. Be the one who motivates others to achieve quality. And be the one that lives with decency and grace.

Some of the most precious things you possess are your honor, your dignity, and your reputation. All in all, if you’re not proud of who you are and the way you choose to live your life, small else matters.

This article first appeared in Forbes . It really is republished, with authorization. (© 2021 Rodger Dean Duncan. Many rights reserved. )



Rodger Dean Duncan is the bestselling writer of LeaderSHOP: Workplace, Profession, and Life Tips From Today’ h Top Thought Frontrunners .


About Rodger Dean Duncan

Within the past 40 years I’ve conferred with and coached frontrunners from the factory floor to the boardroom in certain of the world’s best companies in several industries. Basically, I actually help people get nutrients done while staying away from the Dilbert Zone. Early in my profession I covered national politics and business designed for Texas newspapers, plus freelanced for publications ranging from The brand new York Times and The particular National Observer to Boys’ Life plus Parade magazine. Then I was an university professor, labored on Wall Street, offered in two White House administrations, suggested several U. T. Senators, and headed worldwide communications in Campbell Soup Corporation. My Ph. Deb. (Purdue University) is within organizational behavior, but my orientation could be the real world of actual work. My bestselling book is CHANGE-friendly LEADERSHIP: Ways to Transform Good Intentions into Great Overall performance . Follow upon Twitter @DoctorDuncan

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Additional Reading:

Ethical Character Matters

Take Ownership by Taking Responsibility

Living Life Having a Purpose

Great Matters Start with Great Requirements

Living the Fantastic Rule

What Does This Take to Show a Little Kindness?

The Consequences of No Consequences

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