Without our past, our future would be a tortuous path leading to nowhere. In order to move up the ladder of success and achievement we must come to terms with our past and integrate it into our future. Even if in the past we made mistakes, this will only make wiser people out of us and guide us to where we are supposed to be.
This past year, I was auditioning for the fall play, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." To my detriment I thought it would be a good idea to watch the movie in order to prepare. For two hours I studied Elizabeth Taylor's mannerisms, attitude, and diction, hoping I could mimic her performance. I auditioned for the part of "Maggie" feeling perfectly confident in my portrayal of Elizabeth Taylor, however, I was unaware that my director saw exactly what I had been thinking. Unfortunately, I didn't get the part, and my director told me that he needed to see "Maggie" from my perspective, not Elizabeth Taylor's.
I learned from this experience, and promised myself I would not try toimitate another actress, in order to create my character. Perservering, I was anxious to audition for the winter play just two months later. The play was Neil Simon's "Rumors," and would get the opportunity to play "Chris," a sarcastic yet witty role, which would be my final performance in high school. In order to develop my character, I planned out her life just as I thought it should be, gave her the voice I thought was right, and the rest of her character unfolded beautifully from there. My director told me after the first show that "Rumors" was the best work he'd ever seen from me, and that he was amazed at how I'd developed such a believable character. Thinking back to my first audition I was grateful for that chance I had to learn and to grow, because without that mistake I might have tried to base "Chris" off of someone I'd known or something I'd seen instead of becoming my own character. I utilized the memory of the Elizabeth Taylor debacle to improve my approach to acting and gave the best performance of my life so far.
Memories act as both a help and a hinderance to the success of someone. Many people advise you to learn from the past and apply those memories so that you can effectively succeed by avoiding repeating your past mistakes. On the other hand, people who get too caught up with the past are unable to move on to the future.
Elie Wiesel's memoir Night perfectly exemplifies the double nature of memories. Wiesel, a Jewish man, suffered heavily throughout the Holocaust and Night is rife with horrific descriptions of his experience. These memories help to spread the view of what life was like. Through recounting these memories, Wiesel is able to educate world readers about the atrocities committed in hopes that the same blatant violations of human rights are never repeated again. Through reliving the Holocaust through his writing, Wiesel was inspired to become proactive in the battle for civil rights. Some would point to his peaceful actions and the sales of his book and label him a success.
Despite the importance of recounting such memories, Wiesel acknowledges the damage that memories can also cause. Following his liberation from the Auschwitz concentration camp, Wiesel was a bitter, jaded man. He could not even write Night until several years later. The end of the novel describes Wiesel's gradual but absolute loss of faith throughout the experience. His past experiences haunted him for several years, rendering him passive. It was not until he set aside his past that he could even focus on the future. Had he remained so consumed with the pain and damage caused in the past, he may never have achieved the success that he has attained.
Overall, Wiesel's experiences exemplify the importance of the past as a guide. Wiesel's past experiences helped to guide him in later life, but it was not until he pushed them aside that he could move on. To me this means that you should rely on your past without letting it control you. Allow your past to act as a guide, while making sure that you are also living in the present and looking to the future.
A Better Way to Think About Business Ethics: How Personal Integrity Leads to Corporate Success by Robert C. Solomon presents an argument for a better way to think about business by the extensive application of Myths and metaphors in the best way possible. This piece of work by Solomon has been lauded in the business field as one the best in the analysis of the role of ethical practice in the success of an organization. Solomon intricately employs the combination of myths and metaphor within business to produce one the best works on the critical analysis of ethics.
In this powerful work, Solomon introduces myths and metaphor by illustrating the role of these two figurative languages in various fields of study such as physics, law and politics. The five myths and metaphors that have been extensively used by Solomon in this work include the metaphor of Mayhem, Vision and Civility, Better Fear than Love, the myth of Entrepreneur, the myth of Profit Motive and the Language of Dehumanization (Solomon, 1999). Through marketing, Solomon has explored these metaphors in the demonstration of deep understanding of ethical perspectives in the murky world of business. In the Language of Dehumanization, the author insists that that achieve meaning and identity, the critical factor is to separate money from the core business and eliminate it as a consideration. The language of dehumanization defines a list of issues that have been operative in business but have been eclipsed by the human desire to make money. Solomon sympathizes with individuals who cannot see the critical point of working except for the reason to make money. The point is that all the activities they are involved in their entire work life are then useless and meaningless.
The sad truth which is at the same time a fact on how not to think about business is that the image of materialistic selfishness eclipses the many positive virtues in business and business people. These positive virtues include their pride in products and services, there relationships with their co workers and customers and their dedication to their work (Solomon, 2010). The Language of Dehumanization in business one metaphor on how not to think about business in that whole process as described by Solomon is “art of the deal” is what is celebrated, as opposed to the efforts in the production and distribution of quality products which at times ate lifesaving (Solomon, 1999). The all talk about money in business is dehumanizing. Whereas Solomon insists that business is an exemplary activity that encompasses mutual and genuine needs, desires and demands, the whole talk about money leaves out the critical components of personal attachments and obligations. This then gives great attention to our financial dealings that form the pillars of our lives. The danger of dehumanizing business is that we fall into a trap of dehumanizing policies, strategies and institutions in business.
The second Metaphor, Better Fear than Love describes the rough world of business environment that demands more than resilience. Solomon describes the whole world as unfair, rough, under which only the ruthless can have the tenacity to survive. In describing as a brilliant consultant, there is the caution that people would do best with what they want to hear and can practically put to good use. The Machiavellian ideologies were later replaced by Aristotle conception of Honorable statesman that melded ethics and politics (Benjamin, 2007 and Burnes, 2009). Solomon therefore explores the metaphor better fear than love and relates it to the corrupt Italian empire at the time of great development and expansion by other European nations. In this respect, Solomon intones a better way to think about business must encompass ore fear than love in business field.
The myth of Entrepreneur is projected by Solomon as virtues that are critical to the success in business. Within this Myth, Solomon maintains that ethics is paramount for long term business survival and success of an individual. One of the reasons is that ethics of character requires so much defense and explanation in entrepreneurship in the modern days and in the words of Solomon seem to be of great concern and constitutes traits considered as critical virtues or vices in business. In the analysis of this metaphor, Roth (2003)intones that “in keeping with his conviction that virtue and profit must thrive together, Solomon both examines the ways in which deficient values actually destroy businesses, and debunks the pervasive myths that encourage unethical business practices.” Solomon therefore projects the point that an entrepreneurial mindset refers to aspire and devise the organizational setup by introducing a ground-breaking business approach as a trademark in the market.
In philosophical business sense existentialism, axiology, pragmatism, and ethics are the key magnets that influence the nurture of entity’s persona and establish the organizational behavioral and management structure (McNamara, 2008 and Koter, 1996). However, in today’s ingenious and methodical business era the achievement of standard business environment and market standing is not only hard, but in some cases impossible for an un-resourceful business approach. Therefore, the entrepreneurial psychology refers to the psychological study of the current business practice its implementation and making the business according to the most appropriate business concepts and current business practices and ethics (DuBrin, 2004). A better way to think about business ethics is to underline the myth of the entrepreneurial.
Solomon insists that the myth of Profit Motive has remained the major driving engines of all business. To achieve a perfect balance between the Myth of Profit Motive and think better about business, a business man must embrace the catalogue of business virtues. For the Myth of Profit Motive, it is paramount that a businessman understands the discipline of business psychology which provides valuable knowledge and insights that assist business managers in the understanding of people’s behavior in business. As projected by Solomon, such knowledge equips a business manager with relevant information in regard to human behavior when faced with challenges in business and management context. The psychological understanding of different personality traits has the capacity to affect the workplace because some differences can be perceived by other employees as negative and thus cause discomfort to others. This would not only affect the spiritual culture of the organization but may also affect the primary collective responsibility and team work within the organization that would eventually weight down on the motive of profit (Benjamin, 2007).
Last, the metaphor of Mayhem, Vision and Civility is geared towards the understanding that business must have a vision; for the vision to be realized, business man must wade through the mayhem of business environment and arm himself with the ethical sense of civility. According to Solomon, Competition has gone global and the market and industry dynamics have necessitated the need for companies to make concerted efforts streamlined towards ensuring that high quality goods and services are offered in the market at competitive prices. This has resulted in the adoption and implementation of several tools and strategies geared towards the aforementioned goals attainment (Anderson & Anderson, 2001). One of the strategies that have been soundly embraced by a multitude of companies is the adoption of high ethical standards within the operational culture of most organizations that have lead to a paradigm shift towards best codes of conduct and ethics. The myth of Mayhem and civility has thus expounded on the rush to entrench ethical standards within the culture of business while at the same time manage the mayhem of the business environment.
Solomon presents a long list of virtues that are critical to the performance of business. The three most pivotal business virtues in my analysis of the work of Solomon include charisma, determination and ambition. I believe charisma forms a critical success virtue in business because a business leader must have the capacity to influence others in taking a positive view that supports his stand in business management. This is critical in the areas on dealing with change and change management that have been known to form part of parcel of daily management activities in business (Haberberg & Rieple, 2008). Solomon therefore presents charisma as a critical virtue and reinforces its importance by charisma has the capacity to enhance and solidify the relationships between the management and the employees.
Potavin (2006) describes a true leader as one who maintains an uncompromising adherence to an internalized, but otherwise generally accepted code of moral values; who adheres to utter sincerity, honesty, and candor in all communication; and who avoids deception, expediency, artificiality, or shallowness of any kind in all situations . In addition to the above, Potavin (2006) explains that a true leader must have vision, open to change, create other leaders, value the contributions of others and possess the element of integrity. A deep examination on the life and management leadership style and virtues presented by Solomon reveal that achieve the above status, the critical virtues of determination and ambition must form part of business culture. This involves the recognition of contributions of various employees and takes the critical role of team work into consideration. In conclusion, both determination and ambition determines both specific and broad objectives of organization and has such must form part and parcel of organizational culture.