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  • Writer's pictureRichard Parrish

The Golden Rule for Leaders?

My mother wasn’t a businesswoman.

She never held a corporate position or even worked in a business. She was a mother, wife, and a “director” of three unruly boys! So, perhaps she had more leadership skills than what her apron-clad appearance revealed.

When my misbehavior created conflict with my brothers or friends, she would pull me aside and say: “Richard, do to others, what you would have them do to you.” I didn’t recognize then the incredible wisdom Mom was offering me.

Later, I would learn she stole that business insight from Jesus, who said: “So in everything, do to others, what you would have them do to you” - Matthew 7:12. We’ve learned that this advice is so valuable and essential that many refer to it as “The Golden Rule.”

Brad Hewitt, former CEO and President of Diversified Pharmaceutical Services attended Harvard University Business School. He described his time at Harvard as follows:

“a very expensive lesson in learning that following the golden rule is what makes organizations successful over the long term.”

Hewitt states that the golden rule is “the primary lesson that I came away with during my time at Harvard.”

The Golden Rule works in leadership because it provides employee growth and sustains economic growth. It encompasses values of love, honesty, respect, and justice in everyday decisions and actions. It is a powerful leadership principle because it is “other-directed,” not “self-centered.”

It builds people up instead of using them up; it encourages people to see new possibilities rather than seeing themselves and the world as unchangeable. People in our organizations begin to see themselves as valued. And when people are valued, they are more productive.

If we intend to do what is best for the long-term interests of our company, corporation, or ministries, we must consistently apply The Golden Rule.

  • Is there a co-worker you struggle with?

  • Are you willing to treat them as you desire to be treated?

  • What keeps you from doing so?

Thanks for your leadership.


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