A Value System for Action
In order to understand action, it is important also to consider the value system that governs actions. This applies to the actions of individuals as well as organizations. Values drive behavior and this in turn influences the choices of actions.
Although it is not possible to entirely eliminate changes in values over time, space and situations, a value system that remains relatively consistent has great appeal. The Second Principle of Purposeful Action, provides such consistency through a value system for ethical balance based upon giving and taking. Masters of the Game shows you how to apply a system of core values, based on giving, to all your actions immediately–to achieve success and fulfillment in your career and life.
Values are derived from a variety of factors including cultural, social and religious practices, laws, regulations and norms that might serve as means of influence and control. Value systems based upon one or more of these factors tend to change with time, place and setting. As a result, values that lead to a “right” or “good ” action at one time or place might precipitate a “wrong” or “evil” action at another.
For example, the kidnapping and enslavement of humans was legal, acceptable and even considered honorable by American slave-owners two centuries ago. Today, besides being illegal, slavery is unacceptable. Another example is the treatment of native Americans then and now.
A value system based upon “giving” and “taking” would have found the treatment of slaves and native Americans as actions of taking then as well as now. The concept of giving and taking provides the basis for a value system that endures over time and place in most situations. This concept is compatible with the “rights based, ” “duty based,” and “utilitarian” ethical theories.