The Burning Man Principle

The Burning Man Principle

What do you know about ‘Burning Man’? Do you even know about the ‘Burning Man Principle’? Have you heard of it before? Have you been in attendance at any of its events? What exactly is the ‘Burning Man’? In this article, we will find out about these questions and more. To those familiar with the ‘Burning Man,’ I’m sure you know there is a wide variety of opinions on it. There have been several understandings and definitions given to this name called the ‘Burning Man.’ Some said it is a place for pushing drugs; others attributed it to some spiritual activities and annual rituals, while others understood it as a music festival.

To know the truth, we need to trace its origin. Let’s try to answer these questions: What is burning man, and how did it come into existence? Who were the creators? What were their aims and objectives? Sit back as these truths begin to unfold. Many people have said different things about this burning man event, and it doesn’t mean that they are all wrong. It just means that they said what they have experienced.

Burning Man

History of the Burning Man

The burning man event originated on June 22nd, 1986, on Baker Beach in San Francisco. It officially started as a bonfire ritual on June 22nd when Larry Harvey, Jerry James, and a few friends met on Baker Beach in San Francisco. Larry Harvey burned 8 feet (2.4m) long tall wooden material referred to as a puppet. Before that time, one of the friends of Larry Harvey’s girlfriend has held a bonfire countless times on that beach in which Larry has attended. During the burning, Larry described his inspiration for burning these effigies (a dummy or a representation of someone) as a spontaneous act of radical self-expression.

In 1986, Larry made a 9-foot-tall wooden sculpture of a man and decided to burn it at a nearby beach (Baker beach) in San Francisco. And years after that, he did it again a couple of years after then. Every year, the sculpture is made more prominent than it was in the previous year. For example, in 1987, the sculpture (of a man) was about 15 feet (4.6 m) tall, and in 1989 it was almost 40 feet (12 m) tall. Finally, Harvey decided to move the burning away from the beach because the police stopped him from burning it in 1990 because he had no permit.

So, Larry joined up with another two people named Kevin Evans and John Law, who planned a group trip to a dry lake in the black rock desert. The movement began to grow as people were excited to be a part of the burning. There was a high turnout, and a man named Michael Mikel became worried that people might get lost in the desert. He then started a group called the Black Rock Rangers to keep people safe.

After that time, Harvey got a permit from the Bureau of Land Management to hold the festival, and since then, it even became more popular. The number increased yearly from the 50s to 1000s. In 2010, over 50,000 people attended the festival. The festival has become so large, and it is now sometimes referred to as the Black Rock City. This is because, before the event, some volunteers devote their time to build the city. After all, it is massive. In addition, some volunteers stay up to four weeks or more after the festival to clean up the city.

Burning Man

The Burning Man Principle

Larry Harvey created ten principles, and they were crafted not to dictate how people should act but as a reflection of the community’s culture. They are as follows:

Radical Inclusion

Burning Man allows everyone to find whatever they miss in their everyday lives. There are several different activities that people do. Some do yoga, and some go for morning runs. The exciting thing is that everyone is unrestricted to do whatever they fascinate. Notably, the community is open to people of all backgrounds and beliefs. Everyone is welcome. When applying this principle to the business world, it means no prerequisites exist. It would help if you welcomed a different perspective.


Going to Burning Man involves some mindful preparation. Money is the least of the concern for those who prepared poorly for the event. The only things it can buy are coffee and ice; the rest is to be gifted. This doesn’t mean that you should expect everything to be given to you. The notion behind it is to learn to take possessions lightly and appreciate the more minor things in life. Also, you should see it as an opportunity to give back to others. Gifts are outright contributions, whether a substance, service-oriented or even less factual.


This principle is closely related to Gifting. In reality, it means that the burning man festival does not support sponsorships or any profit-oriented activities. Every other event would have sponsors and promotional stables — not Burning Man. Nothing is for sale (except for coffee and ice) – participation is rather prioritized than what is to be consumed. This can also teach us in our personal lives to put our effort into getting positive results from the thing we are doing – without the idea of getting something in return.

Radical Self-Reliance

Self-Reliance determines responsibility. Even when things get out of hand, it is essential to take responsibility for yourself. Don’t expect others to look after you. This principle teaches that it’s best to rely on yourself. You are responsible for yourself. Bring everything you need. Burns is an opportunity for you to enjoy relying on yourself. It motivates individuals to rely on their inner resources. Nobody wants to hire someone who relies on constant supervision and instructions. Think outside the box to get constructive ideas.

Radical Self-Expression

This principle is similar to the previous one because it has to with yourself. Perform whatever you want, as long as you don’t disturb others. It’s a time to express yourself, with nobody caring to know what your concerns are. What are your gifts, talents, affinity, likes? You are free to express yourself, and only you can determine the way you express yourself. To show what you are made up to the world, you need to express your gifts and talents.

Burning Man

Communal Effort

This principle is based on first work, then play. If the idea of building an art object does not excite you, you may decide to volunteer to do some other things. Participation is essential, and that nobody will stay idle. Cooperation and collaboration are the main holding force of the festival. You cooperate to do some activities and support one another in the process.

Civic Responsibility

The co-founder of this festival was stopped from burning “the man” until he got a permit from the Bureau of Land Management. It’s important to know that Burning Man is also governed by the laws of the U.S. and the state of Nevada. Civic responsibility involves the approvals that provide for the public interest and assist in preserving society’s civil. Event organizers take responsibility for disseminating these agreements to participants and conducting events following applicable laws of the state and country.

Leaving No Trace

So, after the festival, the Black Rock desert is required to remain as spotless as it was initially. It means everything that you bring with you goes home with you. Everyone cleans up after themselves, and whenever possible, you are supposed to leave your hosting place better than you first met them.


Within one week, with the help of thousands of participants, the desert turns into a city. But this does not mean everyone is involved in building the city. Some participate in feeding the artists and transport food in their art cars. The harsh circumstances of living in the desert make it easy for people to understand that they can benefit others. The revolutionary participation ethic allies that you are the event. Everyone works; everyone plays. No one is a spectator or consumer. Participation is all that matters.


These ten principles are central to everything that is about the event.

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How the World Sees You

Discover Your Highest Value Through the Science of Fascination

By Sally Hogshead


Greatness Can Go Unnoticed

Joshua Bell, one of the world’s greatest violinists, earns $1,000 per minute in command performances at high-priced concerts. In an experiment, Bell played his violin during rush hour in a Washington, DC, subway station. A thousand distracted subway riders walked past Bell, but they disregarded him and were oblivious to the beautiful music he was creating for their benefit.

“As a marketplace becomes ever more crowded, strengths matter less than differences. Strengths become the standard…If you want to influence decision makers, invest in understanding your personality ‘Advantages’ and how best to apply them.”

If this virtuoso couldn’t get people to pay attention to him in the subway, how can you stand out from the crowd in your own busy environment? You could be one of the best in the world at what you do, but that won’t make any difference if people can’t separate you from the background noise. If they don’t see you – if you don’t fascinate them – then you aren’t really there.

You Must Fascinate

You were born with an instinctive ability to captivate; babies always enthrall their parents. But, soon you learned to protect yourself by building a shell and trying to blend in with everyone else. Society encourages children, from their earliest days, to avoid standing out. They learn to conform, to fit in and to wait patiently in line. For most youngsters, attaining invisibility becomes a primary goal, and over time, people acquire “layers of boring.”

“Advantages are the basic building blocks of every personality. They provide a simple way to categorize different communication styles for people and brands”

Today, no one wins by being invisible. You can’t get ahead unless you stand out from the crowd and earn positive attention. Besides getting noticed, you must fascinate others in order to draw them to you. Most people are afraid to be mesmerizing, a fear that traces back to “the beginning of recorded time.” Civilizations have long regarded the ability to fascinate others as an “evil power,” something akin to witchcraft or hypnotism.

“When you operate in alignment with how the world sees you, things get a lot easier…You can stop shouting to be heard.”

Fascination is indeed powerful, though not evil. It represents “a neurological state of intense focus, one that creates an irresistible feeling of engagement. It’s almost like falling in love.” Fascination gets you noticed. Only when you can fascinate people will you get the opportunity to communicate – and be hired or included. If you can’t “add value to your audience,” the game will go on without you. Getting noticed in a positive light takes effort, due to three factors that threaten your ability to be distinctive:

“Distraction” – People face an endless barrage of communication. The BBC reports that web browsing dramatically limits the human attention span, which is now about “nine seconds – the same as a goldfish.” Making a good impression in only nine seconds is tough, so you have to “front-load your value.”

“Competition” – Everyone who wants to succeed tries “hard to be ‘better’” than their competitors. The problem is, being “’better’ is not better.” You may temporarily get ahead of those around you, but a new face will emerge who does better than you and you’ll be right back where you began. This is true for products, services and companies, too. Instead of trying to be better, aim to be different and stand out.

“Commoditization” – In today’s intensely competitive environment, you face the danger of being perceived as interchangeable with your competitors. When people become commodities, clients can and will quickly replace them, just as customers quickly replace products or services they see as commodities. Like distinctive professionals, goods and services that offer clear differentiation need never fear commoditization.

The Seven “Fascination Advantages”

To overcome these “three threats,” endeavor to provide “distinct value” to your clients, customers and company. This value is yours alone and includes your individualized communication style. People communicate seven different ways, using the seven fascination advantages. To determine your advantages, take the Fascination Advantage assessment. While most personality assessments measure how you see the world, this measures “how the world sees you.” Unlike a traditional personality system, which is based on psychology, this is built around marketing.

“Much about you is a commodity. These are your least valuable traits…In those areas, increased effort will not yield substantially increased results.”

No single advantage is best. Identify the two advantages on the following list that capture your strongest character traits. These two assets “make you intensely valuable.” The first is your “primary advantage”; the other is your “secondary advantage.” They define what makes you unique. Leverage them in all you do. The seven advantages are:

  1. “Power advantage” – Authoritative “power personalities” enjoy debates and expertly argue their cases. They don’t fear risks. The typical power personality is “the high-school football coach who pushes each player to do more.” Power people move up quickly, often becoming CEOs. They motivate others.
  • “Passion advantage” – As social butterflies, “passion personalities” can spark an acquaintance with anyone. They are the life of any party. The typical passion-personality person is “the Girl Scout who shows up at your door selling cookies, with a big smile and an irresistible sales pitch.” Because they are highly intuitive, these people have strong interpersonal skills and love to use them. They are easy to read because they wear their emotions openly. As life’s natural cheerleaders, they bond quickly with others. They know that people who just “sort of care” will never get anywhere.
  • “Mystique advantage” – “Mystique personalities” are analytical thinkers, sensitive to nuance and totally pragmatic. They deal with facts, not emotions. These introverts are great listeners. The mystique personality is “the poker player who doesn’t show his emotions as the pot grows larger.” People turn to these personalities for sound, rational advice.
  • “Prestige advantage” – “Prestige personalities” are overachievers who focus on excellence, high standards and superior results. The typical prestige personality is “the editor who takes out a comma and then puts it back.” Rightly proud of their accomplishments, these people demand the best from those they lead.
  • “Trust advantage” – Everybody has faith in steady, dependable “trust personalities.” Totally focused and predictable, they like familiar, tried-and-true routines and don’t like new approaches. These traditionalists are the most trustworthy people in the office. The typical trust personality “is a customer who comes back to buy the same pair of jeans, year in and year out.” These folks deliver the goods and keep their promises.
  • “Innovation advantage” – Creative, quick-thinking, “innovation personalities” come up with the most imaginative, totally unexpected solutions. Irreverent and independent, these visionaries are idea people – bored by old concepts and habits. They dislike routine and accepted approaches. The typical innovation personality is “the chef who dreams up a different menu each week with fanciful ingredients.”
  • “Alert advantage” – “Alert personalities” are detail-oriented and prefer a pragmatic, step-by-step approach. They are risk-averse, focused and in control. “They perform exceptionally well as project managers.” The typical example of an alert personality is the “mother who plans ahead for the child’s birthday party with sanitary wipes and disposable cups.”

“Just because you perceive yourself a certain way doesn’t mean that your team or customers necessarily see you the same way.”

In addition to primary and secondary advantages, you also have a “dormant advantage”: one of the seven advantages that works least well for you. People become uncomfortable – and exhausted – when they rely on their dormant advantages – that’s like a right-handed person trying to write with the left hand. A person with a dormant alert advantage is not good with details. A person with a dormant passion advantage is terrible at relationships.

“The 49 Archetypes”

Combining your primary and secondary advantages creates a personal archetype that represents your “distinct value,” the way you express yourself to the world and how it views you. Your archetype is your fascination advantage.

“Employees are most fulfilled and successful when your company doesn’t try to change who they are, but…supports them in becoming…who they naturally are, at their best.”

Your fascination advantage enables you to stand out with an inner understanding of your distinct value. In these sample archetypes, the first key word represents the primary advantage and the second key word represents the secondary advantage:

  • “Ringleader” – Combine “Power” and “Passion” for this “motivated, spirited, compelling” profile. Ringleaders – like Richard Branson – are “motivated and motivating.” They instill confidence in others.
  • “Rockstar” – Use “Innovation” and “Passion” to build this “bold, authentic, unorthodox” person who fills up the room. Rockstars – such as Madonna – enjoy the limelight.
  • “Anchor” – The blend of “Trust” and “Mystique” produces a “protective, purposeful, analytical” person, the individual to whom others turn in a crisis. These cool customers deal well with challenging circumstances. People pay close attention to what they say. Clint Eastwood is an Anchor-type.
  • “Editor-in-Chief” – Someone with both “Alert” and “Prestige” advantages is “productive, skilled, detailed.” These people have high standards and respect deadlines. They have confidence. Film director James Cameron is an Editor-in-Chief.
  • “Change Agent” – The person with both the “Power” and the “Innovation” advantages is “inventive, untraditional, self-propelled.” Change Agents – like Steve Jobs – deal exclusively in new ideas and love to topple the status quo.

“Double Trouble”

People who rely too heavily on one of their two main advantages can become rigid, inflexible and hard to work with, and that is double trouble. “Imperial” personalities who use only the “Prestige” advantage, love public recognition, promote themselves constantly and seem pretentious, exemplify the double-trouble dilemma.

“You will never be your most successful when evaluated according to criteria that do not allow you to stand out.”

Other double-trouble personalities include the “Deadbolt,” who relies only on the “Mystique” advantage and whose secrecy leads to untrustworthiness. The “Aggressor” doubles up on the “Power” advantage and becomes domineering. The “Control Freak” musters only the “Alert” advantage and might be a micromanager. The “Old Guard” has two portions of the “Trust” advantage and is completely predictable, while the “Anarchy” archetype stresses “Innovation” as a sole advantage and becomes insubordinate.

“In a distracted, competitive and commoditized world, a personality tagline is crucial. People need to immediately grasp what you bring to the table.”

Your two advantages are your big guns; use them together. United, they make you formidable; relying on only one makes you annoying and unlikable.

Of Taglines and “Anthems”

Companies appreciate the power of taglines that sum up their products’ uncommon qualities. Customers respond to the right taglines. Think of a tagline as “a shortcut to how a brand is most likely to add distinct value to its consumers.” Choice taglines include L’Oréal’s assertion “Because I’m worth it”; the idea that M&M’s “melt in your mouth, not in your hands”; and BMW’s claim to sell “The Ultimate Driving Machine.” Similarly, people need taglines. With the right tagline, everyone will know who you are and how you deliver value.

“There’s no one right way to fascinate. Over the long run, shy or low-key personalities can be as fascinating as the most charismatic ones.”

Your tagline is your personal Anthem, a few words that describe what makes you unique. To create your Anthem: 1) Find an adjective that expresses what makes you different; 2) Choose a noun that tells people what you are great at doing; and 3) Combine both words, for example: “entrepreneurial thought-leader,” “rational insights,” “irreverent innovator” and “dynamic networker.”

“Fascination really is alchemy. It transforms ordinary companies into exceptionally desirable brands. And…it makes otherwise ordinary people extraordinarily valuable to their company and customers.”

You may want an extended Anthem, like “I create bold solutions with a pioneering mind-set,” or “With clients, co-workers and friends, I deliver astute insight based on my in-the-know expertise.” Put your Anthem in your LinkedIn profile, add it to your website, make it part of your email signature, tweet it and cite it in your social media profiles.

Your Fascination Advantage

You deliver your greatest value when you are most yourself. Being “100% yourself” is better than being “100% perfect.” You can never contribute by staying quiet. You can “unlearn how to be boring.” People must hear you.

“You don’t need to find the light. You are the light. When you let your personality shine, you can light up the world.”

Your personality is your most important differentiator, so don’t focus on changing yourself; that will get you nowhere. To succeed, focus on becoming more yourself. Clients hire you because you are different – that is your fascination advantage.

Product details

ASIN : 0062230697

Publisher : Harper Business; Illustrated edition (July 1, 2014)

Language : English

Hardcover : 448 pages

ISBN-10 : 9780062230690

Item Weight : 1.6 pounds

Dimensions : 7 x 1.37 x 9 inches

Best Sellers Rank: #124,845 in Books

#570 in Popular Psychology Personality Study

#1,759 in Business Management (Books)

#2,359 in Business & Investing Skills

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AMAZON CATEGORY: Books › Business & Money › Management & Leadership

How to Preserve Integrity Without Any Blemish?

How to Preserve Integrity Without Any Blemish?


You must do at all times to be widely accepted and get the full support of everybody around you to preserve your Integrity jealously. Your Integrity is like a seal of trust that must be intact at all times; you lose the trust and acceptance of people around you.

Think of few brands that have been in the market for quite some time; they have managed to stay afloat and widely accepted because they have done everything possible to maintain well-preserved Integrity.

 What does “integrity” mean anyway?

According to www.Dictionary.com, “integrity” is:

Moral and ethical ideals are followed; moral character is strong; honesty is there. To preserve the empire’s Integrity, it must be whole, complete, or undiminished. The Integrity of a ship’s hull is in good, undamaged, or perfect condition.

What Can I do in My Life to Preserve my Integrity?


Verify that you consistently adhere to your moral principles.

Are there areas you could work on? Are you faithful to core beliefs? Ensure that your communication is honest. Be honest with yourself and others. The more you do this, the easier it becomes. It would help if you listened to your gut when issues arise about your Integrity. When you are doing something, not in your moral value system, you will get this feeling. If you refuse to listen to it, regrets await you later. So, listen to your gut n feelings. If you feel that something is pushing your Integrity, investigate what it is. Usually, it is your way of saying, wow, this is wrong!

Given that there is so much corruption in the world right now, while the word integrity may never get as common-place as you would want it to be, it is also one that would never go out of mention. It challenges the norm with all of the audacity and questioning ability that can be mustered. Integrity is not an endpoint, and it, like benevolence, is a concept that develops through time, one that might benefit from some helpful hints and pointers for those wanting to follow its highly regarded route. Consistency is the way to go when it comes to preserving Integrity.

Be Complete and Strict


Integrity can also refer to a firm commitment to a rigid moral or ethical code, as well as the state of being undamaged, soundness, and the attribute or condition of being entire or undivided.

The year is 2009, and the date is January 16th. The day after, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger of Danville, California, safely navigated his loaded passenger airplane over New York City and crashed it in the Hudson River. All 155 occupants are safe and appear to have escaped serious injury – only minor scrapes and bruises. The national media is awash in reports and first-hand conversations with passengers who are now safe, warm, and dry, as well as their rescuers and safety experts, who describe the nightmare. The incident was called “Miracle on the Hudson” by NBC.

Now is the time to take a breath. Consider your values as if you were required to list and describe them. What are your guiding principles? If you’re like most people and businesses, Integrity is high on your priority list. But what does the word ‘ Integrity (perhaps the greatest virtue) mean? What exactly does that imply to you? How do you demonstrate your value for honesty to people daily? How did you come to have such a strong sense of morality? How can you improve this trait to maintain your Integrity? What difference does it make?

For the most part, Integrity is “doing what you say you’ll do” or “behaving yourself while no one is looking.” These are helpful integrity tests, but they don’t fully explain how to preserve Integrity. A building’s structural Integrity is described as its “uncompromised ability to safely resist the appropriate loads.” A person’s structural Integrity’s ability to effectively resist challenges to virtue could be characterized as an “uncompromised ability to appropriately resist challenges to virtue.” How can we cultivate this unwavering devotion to a solid moral code, this “sound” attitude to adversity?

To Preserve Integrity, you Require Due Diligence.



Integrity, like most things we do well, requires work. The correct phrases to use when referring to the human virtue of Integrity is “to practice integrity.” Out of habit, a person speaks and acts with honesty. When one has lived long enough to know one’s own intrinsic potential to work on whim, caprice, or selfishness rather than sincerely held conviction, Integrity is the consequence of preparation and choice.

Integrity develops as a result of training, and it improves with the quality, length, and devotion to the program’s goals. Integrity is based on well-established neurological circuits that trigger particular attitudes and behaviors, resulting in seemingly instinctive correct actions. On the other hand, right behaviors result from human desire and practice, not animal instinct.

“Authentic self-expression that creates value via relationships” is my favorite value-based definition of leadership. This encompasses both interpersonal and event-related ties. You have Integrity when your self-expression begins to continuously contribute value throughout time, via every human encounter, every decision, and every split-second reaction to events.

Aim for Integrity by practicing identifying what is right, declaring that you will do what is right, explaining how and why you will do what is right, and doing so whether or not anybody else is watching.

You can bet there are at least 154 persons in the world who appreciate the value Chesley Sullenberger brought to their lives during their brief interactions. What does “Sully” Sullenberger have to do with honesty and Flight 1549? Sullenberger is said to be a U.S. Air Force pilot. During his time in the Air Force in the 1970s, he flew F-4 fighter planes. In the 1980s, he began flying commercial jets.

“He’s all about executing that airplane to the exact perfection with which it’s built,” her hero-wife husband explains. He leads a safety consulting firm that focuses on the psychology of keeping aircraft crews functional in crises in addition to working for U.S. Airways. He worked for the National Transportation Safety Board as a security analyst.

It’s reasonable that he’s also a glider pilot. This talent undoubtedly assisted in landing an Airbus A320 with both engines on fire in a controlled descent on a virtually frozen river rather than in the middle of a densely populated neighborhood in one of the world’s most densely inhabited cities.

As he piloted his plane toward the freezing Hudson waters, Sullenberger’s instincts didn’t kick in; instead, practice – the practice of Integrity – kicked in. This man decided early in life that safety and human lives were essential enough for him to devote his life to ensuring their preservation. He trained, researched, and learned day after day, year after year, with those goals in mind. What began as a pilot’s perilous first flight evolved into unconscious competence – the proper attitudes, habits, decisions, actions, and demeanor to save lives in a crisis – over 40 years of experience.

Preserve Integrity To Inspire Personal Growth (With Your Learning Partner)


What would your life be like if you practiced Integrity more consistently and with greater intention? How can you improve your honesty daily? What are your ethics, and what do you need to change to represent them better? To help you practice Integrity and take these steps, find an accountability partner or hire a coach.

Integrity serves as the glue that holds all of your other virtues together. What are your other guiding principles? What is the significance? What role do these values define who you are, how you think and act, and how others perceive you? What words and actions do others notice in you daily that represent your values? What is the goal of your life that you are willing to practice day after day, year after year, to be prepared for the unforeseen occurrence that may serve as the ultimate test of your Integrity?

To become the person of Integrity you aim to be, what specific attitudes, habits, and behaviors must you practice regularly?

Describe a time or incident when you were at your most self-assured and exhibited Integrity. Describe a current event in your life where you could, in your heart, use the same level of Integrity as you did in your previous example. Make plans to check in with your learning partner in the coming month to see how you’re both doing with Integrity. Hold each other accountable for your actions.


We must work considerably more challenging to regain our Integrity if we lose it. When we lose our integrity, it isn’t easy to regain others’ trust. If you don’t maintain your Integrity as a leader, you’ll lose credibility with your followers. They’re unsure if they can trust you or if you’re truthful with them. People are hesitant to respond positively to leaders that lack honesty. Why would you want to follow someone you don’t know? They may execute their work, but they will not be entirely committed to you or your company.

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What are Espoused Values?

What are Espoused Values?

Espoused values are values declared to be believed and desired by a person or company. At every point in time, we are judged based on the standards and values that we claim to stand for. This is constant for individuals and also for organizations. People will question if a company stands for those acclaimed values. As individuals who interact with and engage people, we would be checked to ascertain those values either by usual intentions or not. Essential values are the bedrock of the success of any individual or organization.

Many people habitually test others to see their actual values because they don’t act by what they say in most cases. To build trust and a lasting relationship among people, your values are essential. We often tend to act based on emotions and how a particular situation affects us, neglecting what values we say we stand for. It might be anger or any other bad habit that doesn’t go with our values. But after the deed is done, we tend to regret those actions of ours. It’s a sign that we are human beings.

Espoused values

As it is for humans, so it is for organizations. Apart from having aims and objectives for the company, it is necessary to have values too. What are values? Values are principles or standards of behavior. Values can also be said to be the degree of importance of something or action to determine what actions are best to do or what way is best to live.

What are espoused values?

Espoused values are the values that an organization or a person states that it believes in and is desired. Espoused values are often seen in mission statements, presentations, taglines, etc., of organizations. They are not meant to direct how the workers in the organization work but to inspire them to work and behave.

Espoused values are the things advocated by a company’s leadership and management. Edgar Schein, a former professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, defined espoused values in three ways. He authored a book called Organizational Culture and Leadership, which talks about organizational culture, corporate structure, and workplace culture.

Espoused values

Here are his definitions: He defined espoused values to be beliefs upon which a company is built (could mean the code of conduct); demonstrated traits shown by the leaders as examples by modeling the values they wish to see in their company; promotional efforts that communicate the company’s core beliefs.

Espoused values can also be said to be publicly stated values and standards of an organization which can be found in mission statements, Objectives, Goals, Vision Statements, etc. Espoused values are often regarded as the aspirations of a company. They directly influence how a company operates and how the employees function. It is one of the main factors that drive an organization’s culture together with Artifacts and basic underlying assumptions. The three factors affect an organization’s culture.
While espoused values don’t direct employees how to operate in an organization, it only inspires them to work according to the company’s values.

Difference between Espoused values and Enacted values

Espoused values

We have different values. In this post, we will be looking at espoused and enacted values. So much has been said on espoused values already, but for emphasis’s sake, let’s check what it means again. It is the values an organization states that it beliefs in. So, what are enacted values? Enacted values are values that the organization members and employees perceive to be valued by the organization. These are values that are shown in the behaviors of everyone in the organization structure, right from the Chairman or founder of the organization and down to the last worker in the company.

Unlike espoused values written in mission statements, goals, objectives, vision statements, etc., enacted values are seen in the behaviors of the people in the organization. Note that both espoused values and enacted values are essential to an organization. As individuals, we have met people who tell what their values are, but they act otherwise.

It could have happened to us too, telling people what our values are, but, in the end, when we have the opportunity to show it, we don’t act accordingly. It does not mean that we are lying when we say what our espoused values are and don’t act like them. It simply means that we haven’t found a way to turn our espoused values into enacted values (i.e., doing precisely what we say our values are).

Having a written (espoused values) value is essential but also having enacted value is very important. For an organization that wants to build a good reputation with customers and fellow business organizations, good and healthy relationships can only be built by enacted values, not written words (espoused values). Although both are important, and espoused values can to turned into enacted values.

How to turn espoused values into enacted values

Espoused values

It has been said earlier that espoused values are as important as enacted values. Still, people get to draw conclusions on their encounters with people’s or company’s actions or behavior (which are the enacted values) and not just the written behaviors or relationship traits (the espoused values). Under this topic, we would be talking about how to turn espoused values (written values) into enacted values (action).

  • Write down your espoused values: The first step of turning espoused values into enacted values is naming your espoused values. The idea behind this is to make your values visible. Values that only exist inside the mind might fly into thin air when other things come into the mind. Take time to make a list of what values you like, both as an individual or as an organization. Take a long list of values you have, or you want to start exhibiting. It will help you to look beyond your current self. Please don’t limit your list to things you have alone, the values you see in people, and you want to have too; include them in the list.
  • Reduce your espouse values: After listing your espoused values and what values you want to teach, the next thing is to narrow them down. One of the majorities of the challenges we have with espoused values is that we have too many of them at the same time. When we have too many values to implement at once, we don’t know where to focus our actions, and we end up not acting on many of our values at all. Choose a few of them from the list you have written and focus on them. When you have too many values to chase after, you end up losing all-important values.
  • Prune your habit and character: Habit and character are ingredients of values. Without a good habit or character, it’s not possible to have good values. After selecting essential values out of the espoused values, you need to work on your habit and character. It would help if you had good ethics even when nobody is looking at you. The best time to improve yourself and your values is when you have the opportunity to cheat on your values when nobody is looking at you. You will feel like doing it since nobody is watching, but you cannot lie to yourself about what you stand for.
  • Be determined: It’s not easy to learn and do new things, especially when it comes to things that have to do with values and ethics. Because these are things you can’t force, either you do them, have them, or not. Determination will help you to stand your ground on your values even when you feel compromising. The more deterministic you become, the easier it becomes to act and defend your values. There will be a test of values and ethics from time to time; determination will keep you moving in the face of rejection.
  • Put into action what you want: If you don’t do it, it won’t become a habit, and without that, you can’t exhibit correct values. At first, it might not be easy, especially when you have to exhibit new values, but in the long run, it will become easy. Practice what you say. You build credibility and reputation when people see that you do what you say

Why having espoused and enact values are important?

  • It helps to increase orderliness and punctuality among employees.
  • It helps to increase productivity and performance.
  • It helps to provide excellent customer service.
  • It facilitates better product quality and production.
  • It promotes creativity and innovation with product and service creation.
  • It helps to build trust with customers and partners in business.

Your relationship with people is essential. People won’t judge based on what they hear from you but on your actions. Join the Black Sheep Community, where experts and real-life coaches guide you on effective ways to live a balanced life. You will not remain the same after sessions with our experts.

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What are professional values? Why are professional values important?

What are professional values? Why are professional values important?

What do professional values mean? Professional value is a generic term for principles that are major and unique to practicing a profession. In simple words, they are the guiding beliefs and principles that influence our work behavior (profession). The latter part of this article will talk about core values and how it affects our professional values. You cannot give what you don’t have; that’s why it said above that professional values are, in most cases, extensions of our core values.

Professional values differ across all professions. Professional values in medicine are different from that of lawyers, and professional values in Law are different from that of the banking sector.

For everything, there is a purpose; for every purpose, there is a value attached to it. We can’t all behave anyhow we want and expect things to turn out well. Some sacrifices must be made to make things work out well. We all cannot be the same because we are all from different backgrounds, and even twins at times do not act and behave in the same way. We are humans with emotions and diverse characters, which affect our decisions in one way or the other. We are different from each other, and that’s why our likeness differs, although our goals might be similar.

We are different from each other, and that’s why our profession differs too. It’s only in rare cases that you see everybody in a family go into the same profession except for family business which you are bound to take responsibility for. There have been stories of families who the father and mother, including their children, are all medical doctors, but it doesn’t always turn out that way.

We have our lives to live, and that is why professional values are essential. We have all heard of values in the past and how important they are.

professional values

While these values may change over time and around different life events, your core values and beliefs should remain the same. Although some values are deemed more beneficial than others in some respective professions, some universal values shouldn’t be compromised. No profession encourages hate for others; even soldiers are trained to save and kill the enemy. This is an example of the universal value that we are talking about. No profession encourages dishonesty; you might want to think about the situation in the Law court.

For instance, in a murder case where the offender gets a lawyer to defend him in Law and the defender also hires a lawyer to prosecute the offender. There are cases where the offender gets discharged and acquainted based on no crime, and it’s most likely possible that they have committed the crime. Now, we must understand that every profession has its rules, and, in such cases, the court gives room for investigation.

The court doesn’t work based on assumption or mere words; it is how well your lawyer can convince the judge by providing enable pieces of evidence. It is not that they are encouraging crime. So far, you can get a good lawyer to defend you, but the law court doesn’t operate based on mere words. The same thing applies to why a soldier would shoot at another soldier so far; it’s the enemy, the soldier can gun him down.

Why are professional values important?

professional values

How will you feel if a doctor with dreadlocks attends to you in the hospital? What will be in your mind if the nurse designated to you has long nails with his or her hair long and flashy. You might not talk, but there will be a question mark in your mind about the person’s diligence.

Although dressing doesn’t affect your level of competence, so far you know what you are doing, you are good to go. But on the side of the people that you are dealing with, how will they receive you? There is nothing wrong if you put on your round-neck shirt, ripped jeans, and black sunshade when you are going to club, but you can’t do that to court as a lawyer.

Some professional values and ethics govern each profession. Professional values are essential because it helps to portray a professional image through reliability, consistency, and honesty. It’s brings knowing and taking responsibility for our actions. A doctor cannot afford to be negligent and absent-minded.

An accountant also cannot take things for granted. People’s life and well-being are sometimes attached to decisions made by some professionals.

Moreover, part of professional values and ethics includes dressing and acting appropriately. There are professional attire and attire for some other events. It is professionally wrong for a firefighter to dress in clothes that would affect his operations. Professional values allow us to know the basic needs and beliefs to succeed in a specific profession. Professional values are also essential to deliver work outcomes to an acceptable and agreed-on quality and standard.

In short, professional values are essential because of the following:

  • Better work ethics
  • Professional look
  • Accountability
  • Responsibility
  • Quality work standard

General Universal Values

professional values

We have learned that irrespective of profession, some universal values don’t change at all. They are standards for the right living. These are universal and appropriate values for all professions and scenarios, whether you are just going for a job interview or working already, or just taking up a new role at work.

  • Appropriate dressing: You will be addressed the way you dress. Every profession appreciates dressing properly; ask about it if you are not sure of the dress code in your profession. Every profession has its appropriate dressing style; a doctor’s dressing is different from that of an engineer.
  • Politeness: Part of professional values and ethics is being polite to your bosses, colleagues, customers, and even junior colleagues. This helps you to have a good working relationship. This earns you respect from people and keeps your relationship healthy with them.
  • Punctuality: There is a famous saying that “punctuality is the soul of business.” Turning up on time shows that you have passion for the job and you are happy with it. Getting to work late or not showing up at all is a sign of irresponsibility on the employee’s side.
  • Honesty: When working for a company, you can damage your own and your company’s reputation by dishonesty. When you, as an employee, become very dishonest to customers and partners at work, it will chase people away from the company. This could be due to wanting to make excess profits or putting on sale products or services below quality.
  • Respect for others: Another universal value that is very important in any profession is respect for others. Nobody deserves to be treated in a wrong way, irrespective of position or societal status. And every profession encourages it.
  • Confidentiality: An employee, irrespective of the profession, must hide information and just let the people involved know not more than what they are expected to know. An employee must not be too porous in disbursing information and details.
  • Responsibility and personal development: Part of responsibility as an employee is meeting deadlines for jobs and tasks at hand. Part of your responsibility is personal growth and development. It would help if you improved on yourself daily.

Core Values and Professional Values

professional values

What are core values? These are the set of fundamental beliefs, ideals, and practices that inform you on how you conduct your life in both a personal and professional manner. In an organizational setting, values are put in place to maintain by the employees, and this helps the organization determine how they allocate resources and sustain growth. Some of the general universal values have been listed above.

Do our core values affect our professional values? Yes, it does. If a person is found wanting in the core values, his professional values should be under scrutiny. Another question you might want to find an answer to is this: Must your core values align with your professional values? Of course, it should. When your core values don’t align with your professional values, there will be issues.

How to identify your core values

To find out your core values, you need to reflect on what is important to you. It might be challenging to identify what exactly, especially if you are the type that lives in the moment. But through patience and attentiveness, you will indeed identify it though it might be hard to accept.

  • What drives you?
  • What professional environment suits your values?
  • What qualities do you admire in people, especially people you call your role model?
  • What inspires and motivates you?
  • What qualities do you wish to develop?

These questions and more might help identify your core values. And you can also become a member of the Black Sheep community to meet with our seasoned experts.

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What is true wisdom?

What is true wisdom?

What is true wisdom? Wisdom, according to Wikipedia, is the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight. Wisdom is one of the most outstanding qualities that a human being possesses. It is associated with attributes such as common sense, compassion, love, unbiased judgment, virtues, ethics, etc. The great scientist and philosopher Socrates said, “I cannot teach anybody anything.

I can only make them think.” This implies that nobody can teach wisdom. It is the ability to think and make the right decisions based on intelligence, insight, and experience. Wisdom is not specific to the educated only or those with the best acquired or learned skills, although they might play essential roles in how vast the knowledge we have will help build wisdom in us.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines true wisdom as the capacity of judging rightly in matters relating to life and conduct; soundness of judgment in the choice of means and ends; sometimes, less strictly, sound sense, especially in practical affairs. We are all blessed with the gift of wisdom; harnessing it is where some of us have issues. Some people do not think before acting; they act and then think. This leads to regret. True wisdom is often confused with knowledge or intelligence, but they go hand-in-hand. Some people with high IQs can make stupid decisions in their life. There are many misconceptions about wisdom.


Knowledge and wisdom look so much alike. Sometimes, knowledge can be used in place of wisdom. The difference is far apart, and so are their similarities. A person can know and not have wisdom, but a person cannot have wisdom without knowledge. That sounds confusing, right? I will break it down for you.

What is knowledge?

true wisdom

Knowledge refers to a learned fact, information, or skill acquired through education or training. It is also referred to as what is gained from the understanding of a field or subject topic. Knowledge involves learning and understanding. Until these two conditions are met and satisfied, you cannot consider yourself as having “knowledge” in something.

What is True Wisdom?

true wisdom

True Wisdom is the ability to differentiate between good or bad, making excellent and decisive judgments from one’s experience and knowledge gained. A person can’t have wisdom without having the basis—which is knowledge. Knowledge is the base root of having wisdom. Knowledge is the education you have, the information you have, and the skill you have acquired but wisdom is the ability to put these things above into action and making productive use of them.

There are some other misconceptions about what True wisdom is.

Understanding: Wisdom and understanding are two different things entirely; Understanding is said to have been made when you learn or gain information and acquire wisdom. Until you understand to gain knowledge, you cannot gain wisdom. It is a process, and wisdom is the endpoint of both understanding and knowledge.

Intelligence: Another thing people think wisdom is, is intelligence. Intelligence can retain knowledge, use it in some problem-solving-related issues, or have a high IQ. Intelligence is very similar to wisdom because both refer to retaining knowledge and using it when necessary to attain the desired result. Do you know that being intelligent doesn’t mean you are wise? An intelligent person can apply the knowledge he has gained from education or during training to solve problems related to education, technology, and other fields, but wisdom is more than that. Wisdom is applying the knowledge is more severe matters that pertain to life and its application.

An intelligent person is not a wise person. A person might be intelligent and achieve the highest peak of his career and lack wisdom. Wisdom cuts across how you spend your money, how you settle disputes among associates and families etc. Being intelligent doesn’t guarantee wisdom.

Insight: Insight is another thing people think wisdom is. Most of the time, when we see someone with insight, we tend to conclude that they are wise quickly. But what is insight? Insight is the ability to see and understand things clearly, sometimes a future happening or possibility. Insight and wisdom seem to look alike, but insight is part of being wise. A person might be insightful and still be foolish. We have had great scientists who are very knowledgeable and full of understanding but died a foolish death. Wisdom cannot be learned.


true wisdom

They are disciplined: Self-control and zero tolerance of indiscipline are critical attributes of a person with wisdom. Wise people understand the logic of life, the principle of self-control, and self-discipline. A person might be very wealthy and affluent in all aspects but still suffer from covetousness or lousiness. Wisdom is not a product of wealth or accomplishment. The higher you go in life, the more wisdom you need. There was a time when I was reading about the biggest jackpots in the United States. I read the story of some people who were only billionaires for a few moments; even some didn’t last for two days. One thing is to know how to attain wealth; wisdom sustains wealth.

Educate themselves: Wise people always “talk to their senses.” That’s the word that explains it better. They educate themselves daily and try to have new understandings. They read research and learn because true wisdom cannot come without all these things. Stagnant wisdom cannot go far because the world is updated within seconds, and if you don’t learn new things to gain more wisdom, the wisdom for today might not be enough for the challenges of tomorrow.

They learn from their mistakes and move on: Do you know that being wise doesn’t mean that you are free from mistakes? You are not a robot or a programmed machine; you are created with feelings and emotions. So, when making some decisions, we are at times clouded with these feelings and emotions, making decisions not based on validity but convenience. In such cases, mistakes are bound to happen. Wise people learn from their mistakes and move on. They show wisdom by learning from such mistakes and not committing the same mistake again. Wise people admit and learn from their mistakes and use these mistakes as a learning opportunity.

They take heed to instructions and corrections: Many people have argued if it is wise to heed to instructions irrespective of the repercussion on innocent people when they say wise people take heed to instructions. Taking heed to instruction in this context means weighing it and judging it as good or bad. Wisdom is doing the right thing, so obeying instructions that will harm the innocent majority is not wisdom. Also, improvising and obeying instructions when the initial set conditions are no longer in place is wisdom. There might have been certain conditions that would prompt some actions; a wise man improvises and still obeys the instruction.

They are guided by what they have learned, known, and teach: Wisdom is essential, and a wise person would live by wisdom. They don’t care about what other people think about them or what they feel; they do what is right. Many people prioritize material things over other important things. For instance, money, position, wealth, riches over family, friends, and relationships. These things are good to have, but wise people don’t place them as the main priority.


true wisdom
  • Try new things: A stagnant wisdom is dead wisdom. To acquire wisdom, you must learn, research, and try new things to gain knowledge and understanding to have more wisdom. Trying new things makes you gain experience, and you become wiser. When you try new things, you have the opportunity to make mistakes, learn and gain experience.
  • Learn from others: Learning from others increases your knowledge. You can benefit from their mistakes and their success stories. Wisdom is putting acquired knowledge into action and part of it learning from other people’s mistakes and success stories. Success stories help you set your path right, and these are experiences of people who have journeyed along this similar path of yours before.
  • Make mistakes: Making mistakes as human beings are inevitable. When we try to perfect our decisions and judgment, we make more mistakes. Wise people are not scared to make mistakes; they learn from the mistake.
  • Connect with like minds: To build wisdom, you must surround yourself and always connect with wise people. Wise words and notions are foolish to dumb people, and those you surround yourself with will enhance your growth and development positively or negatively.

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