Steve Jobs, one of the greatest leaders of all times said that people who want to become noble and reach all the goals in their lives should stay hungry and foolish. This quotation is widespread around the world and motivates many leaders to work harder and to stay open for their new beginnings and ideas. The following paper is to evaluate and to compose a personal leadership philosophy, which will be helpful for my daily activity.
According to one of the media sources, Timothy Donald Cook was using his legitimate formal power in a business battle against Qualcomm (the company that produces chip technology for Apple iPhones). The main point of this article is that Timothy Donald Cook is intimidating his opponents by his financial circumstances and influence power (“It turns out Apple is funding a legal battle against a rival,” 2017). As it was mentioned above, Apple’s president seems to be using his legitimate power bases as a leader. His main strategy is to demonstrate his abilities to frighten the opponents.
It would be proper to discuss the following influence tactics that are being used by Timothy Cook:
- Pressure (this type of influence tactic is usually used by people who demand, treat, and intimidate a leader’s followers or competitors to comply with his or her request).
- Rational persuasion (leaders use this influence method to convince their followers or opponents of some actions that would be beneficial for one’s strategy, based on his or her personal experiences and expectations).
- Personal appeals (used by leaders who have good relationships with their team members that are always open to one’s requests).
As Timothy Cook is a businessman, he uses a style of an authoritative leader, which helps him to improve such aspects of his team as productivity, focusing on the primary goals, analyzing the company’s actions, and so on. This also means that such tenets of conscious capitalism as a higher purpose and stakeholder orientation are followed by Tim Cook. Nevertheless, conscious leadership and conscious culture tenets were disregarded in this instance. An Authoritative person is always respected and discussed by society. Besides, such a style of leadership does not allow making friends with one’s auxiliaries for collaboration.
The potential outcome of the aforementioned situation is predictable because Timothy Donald Cook has a strong team of professionals, self-confidence, and almost an unlimited source of financial means for his company’s purposes and ideas. Hence, he is likely to overcome any difficulties and barriers that might be on his way to victory in this case.
To conclude, it would be proper to stress that Timothy Cook does not support the main values of conscious capitalism because his actions and strategies against the leader’s opponents are not always fair and equitable. Cook’s leadership style seems to be effective, but one’s power can be lost in a minute under particular circumstances, which will ruin his or her influence on others. Timothy Cook did not act ethically in this situation because he did not leave any chance to his opponent, which means that he might be afraid to lose.
If I had a chance to influence and organize the situation above, I would make it different by giving my competitor a chance for a fight. According to such principles of conscious capitalism as conscious leadership and conscious culture, only strong opponents improve people’s leadership skills (Mackey & Sisodia, 2014). I would use the expert power bases in such a situation to demonstrate my knowledge and experience.
Besides, my influence tactics would be the following: coalition (to consult my team) and personal appeals (to be aware of my weak sides). I would adopt a style of democratic leader who analyzes and evaluates any situation objectively to avoid judgment from my colleagues. Hence, the outcome of the same situation would not be as predictable in my instance. Even if I lost one case, I would be thankful to my competitor for motivating me to grow in my leadership philosophy and to improve my professional qualities. Such tenets of conscious capitalism as a higher purpose and stakeholder orientation influence my values by showing me the primary goals, whereas the other two tenets give me an understanding of leadership morality and ethics.
Leadership Philosophy & Conclusion
There are many things that I have learned about effective leadership and conscious capitalism. For instance, following the simple tenets of the latter one, gives a person an ability to become an example for one’s colleagues. Moreover, it is essential to listen to one’s mind and strategies, regardless of other people’s opinions to reach particular personal goals. An effective leadership study made me realize that any leader has to demonstrate all the good qualities to one’s followers to make his or her work in a team more efficient.
The main value that influences my leadership style is a reliable and trustworthy team, which is very important because a person is considered to be a professional leader if all one’s team members are satisfied with his or her regulations and decisions. The values above were influenced by leadership experience among my friends and peers in various situations during my childhood. As it was mentioned above, I expect my future team members to trust me, which will give me the ability to rely on them in some awkward instances. My leadership style and influences will vary and depend on the benefits and succeeds of my auxiliaries and organization. I need to remain flexible to solve a challenging problem.
It turns out Apple is funding a legal battle against a rival. (2017). Web.
Mackey, J., & Sisodia, R. (2014). Conscious capitalism: Liberating the heroic spirit of business. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press. Web.
Immanuel Kant’ Views On Moral Worth
In contemporary society, morality binds all rational beings, and their actions are considered moral only if they emanate from reason and not sensual inclinations (Atwell 44). The moral quality of an action is determined by the motive or intention for its performance. Therefore, the consequences of an action have little to do with its morality because the intention behind it is the most important. A quick way to determine whether an action is moral is to find out whether the intention that motivated the action can be considered as part of universal law. According to Kant, this act of aligning a motive to a universal law in order to determine its morality is known as categorical imperative (Hill 56).
He held that individuals should align their motives with universal laws in order to make their actions moral. He added that the only basis for performing morally valuable actions is through strict observance and respect for Moral Law and acting from a sense of duty and not human inclination (Wood 45). Kant’s argument is very convincing and I agree with it fully.
Kant on Moral worth
Kant maintained that in order for an action to possess moral worth, it needs to be motivated by a sense of duty or by respect for the Moral Law that is incontrovertible (Hill 59). According to Kant, good will is the only good that does not need qualification because many other aspects of human nature possess value only under specific conditions (Wood 46). For instance, certain features of human nature can be used for either good or evil. Therefore, their value is dependent on why they are used. On the contrary, good-will is intrinsically good and valuable because it is not affected in any way by external factors such as the consequences that emanate from human actions. Kant’s moral theory therefore reiterates that actions can be termed as good or bad based on the motives behind them. Motives originate either from a sense of duty or human inclination (Atwell 48).
For instance, an example of a moral action is one which a person performs from a sense of duty even though human inclinations persuade him/her to act otherwise for greater personal gains. The ultimate principle of morality according to Kant is the need to perform from duty and not in accordance with duty. His theory suggests that an action has great moral worth if performed from a sense of duty and not from any form of human inclination.
I am convinced and agree with Kant that in order for an action to have moral value, then it has to be performed from a sense of duty and not from nay human inclination. People value their own moral goodness and will go to great lengths to protect it. It is difficult for an individual to forfeit their moral goodness in order to obtain something else they desire or crave. If that happens, then the value of the other qualities that they posses such as courage, generosity, and patience are diminished. For instance, it is easy to forfeit acting courageously if that calls fro the individual to propagate injustice (Stratton-Lake 73).
In this case, the duty of propagating justice in human interaction overshadows the need to act courageously. In any situation that involves the interaction of two or more human values, the duty of maintaining one’s moral goodness usually wins. On the other hand, if an action requires one to be witty and at the same time act cruelly, then it is better to forfeit being witty in order to avoid promoting cruelty. I agree with Kant that the act of forfeiting being witty has great moral value because it is in accordance with Moral Law. Every action requires the individual to determine its moral value based on its relationship to the duty of acting in accordance with Moral Law (Hill 61).
I am also convinced by Kant’s view of what it takes for an act to have moral worth because possessing and maintaining one’s moral goodness is the most important standard that governs human action (Stratton-Lake 82). For instance, pleasure, joy, and happiness are worth having only if their possession does not require an individual to contravene or lose their moral convictions (Kerstein 31). Therefore, the value of a good will is primarily determined based on its alignment with Moral law and not with its alignment to some desired outcomes. If a good will is aimed at attaining certain desired outcomes, then its moral value is greatly diminished by the motive alone (McCarty 41).
The motive weakens its intrinsic goodness, which is the main requirement for it to have moral value. The intrinsic goodness of a good will implies that it is not important to consider whether it attains certain valuable ends for individuals or for other people because its value is independent of external outcomes (Kerstein 38). Therefore, an action is morally valuable because it aligns with moral law and not because it affords the individual or other people great pleasures or outcomes.
Kant’s argument has been strongly criticized by philosophers who do not subscribe to his idea that values such as sympathy, benevolence, and empathy can lack moral value if they are not based on duty to Moral Law. If an action is not motivated by a sense of duty then the individual has other desired outcomes or ends that are aligned with self-interest (McCarty 54). In that case, the motive to attain certain ends diminishes the moral value of the action. I agree with Kant that the most important aspect of an action is the motive and not the consequences it produces. For instance, an individual can perform an act of kindness towards someone suffering or undergoing a tough time. This situation can be evaluated from two perspectives based on why the individual performed the act of kindness.
First, may be the individual expected a form of remuneration for helping the other person. Second, may be the individual acted with kindness because he recognized his duty to propagate kindness by being a part of the universe. The second perspective gives the action great moral worthwhile the first one diminishes its moral worth even though both had the same outcome. It is possible for people to practice empathy, compassion, and benevolence for selfish ends in which case their actions posses no moral value (McCarty 64). I agree with Kant because people can use the aforementioned human values to do evil or attain selfish outcomes.
They act in certain ways not because they want to help but because they want to gain in some way. On the other hand, people can possess qualities such as courage, discipline resoluteness, and prudence and still not be good because of a lack of good will. For instance, a courageous and resolute murderer is not good and most of his actions have no moral value because they emanate from an inclination to harm people or attain selfish ends. On the other hand, the actions of an instructor who teaches students because of the need to earn a paycheck have no moral value because they are motivated by a human inclination.
Kant’s moral theory places great emphasis on the importance of intention when evaluating the moral value of actions. Kant’s argument is very convincing and I fully agree with it. First, it is an ac of selflessness for an individual to act without expecting any outcome that will bring personal advantages. Secondly, if the motive is aligned with Moral Law, then the outcome is highly likely to be positive and beneficial to oneself o others. Kant observed that actions possess moral value based on the motive behind them and not the consequences that result from them. An action lacks moral value if the doer acts expecting certain desired outcomes.
The motivation for all actions should be based on good will and not on the possible attainment of certain ends. The intrinsic goodness of a good will implies that the consequences of an action are not important. The action is morally valuable because it does not need any external factor to qualify or validate it. Kant’s argument on the importance of motive in determining the moral value of an action is correct and valid even though it has been highly criticized by other philosophical schools of thought.
Atwell, John. Ends and Principles in Kant’s Moral Thought. New York: Springer Science & Business Media, 2012. Print.
Hill, Thomas. Human Welfare and Moral Worth: Kantian Perspectives. New York: Clarendon Press, 2002. Print.
Kerstein, Samuel. Kant’s Search for the Supreme Principle of Morality. London: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Print.
McCarty, Richard. Kant’s Theory of Action. New York: OUP Oxford, 2009. Print.
Stratton-lake, Philip. Kant, Duty and Moral Worth. New York: Routledge, 2005. Print.
Wood, Allen. Kantian Ethics. London: Cambridge University Press, 2007. Print.
Mexican Uprisings In “The Underdogs” By M. Azuela
“If a man has a rifle in his hands and a beltful of cartridges, surely he should use them. That means fighting. Against whom? For whom? That is scarcely a matter of importance.” (Azuela 87).
The uprisings in Mexico chronicled in The Underdogs reveal themselves as less than romantic and idealistic for the impoverished and poorly informed fighters whose actions Mariano Azuela describes. As young Luis Cervantes puts it, some or most have joined the fight, or been coerced into joining, as a way to avoid a life that consisted largely of being “half-naked and hungry” (Azuela 31). Azuela’s ‘underdogs’ seem to possess motivations far distant from the Revolution’s goal, epitomized by Zapata, Villa, and the anonymous author of The Socialist ABCs, to force reforms benefitting the poor (National Endowment for the Humanities).
(The Socialist ABCs 411-417) Instead, Azuela’s characters, with whose point of view the author is sympathetic, are looking for food and drink, extra money, escape from the consequences of their past behavior, or in the case of Cervantes, to observe the real revolution up close (Gerdes 560). The impression of a disorganized mass of fighters, often on both sides, who, in their distraction by food, liquor, women, loot, and mayhem, rather than a clear understanding of the reformist aims, sabotage their own effectiveness, is supported by this and other literature about, and from, this tumultuous period.
Even for the intriguingly named journalist and student Luis Cervantes, initially attracted to the fighters for idealistic and even heroic reasons, eventually women, loot, and destruction seem to predominate. The choice of the name Cervantes, associated with one of the most famous authors in chivalric Spanish literature, seems more than accidental. Cervantes introduces himself by telling the fighters that he “is inspired by the same ideals, defends and fights for the same cause.” (Azuela 15). In foreshadowing the motivational confusion that follows and plagues the fighters, Demetrio replies “What are we fighting for? That’s what I’d like to know.” (Azuela 16) Before story’s end, Cervantes has appropriated a barely 14 year old “bride” without apparent benefit of clergy, and exposed her to rape by Blondie (Azuela 57).
When asked to get the fighters to torch Monico’s house, Cervantes does it on his own with enthusiasm (Azuela 65). With great cynicism, Cervantes later allays Demetrio’s concerns about their looting with his usual verbal adroitnessl. “First of all, General, only you and I know about this…. Secondly, … just as Villa or Carranza aren’t going to ask our consent… we… don’t have to ask anybody’s permission about anything ….” (Azuela 66). Thus, Azuela is showing readers that even for the most idealistic, the lure of booty, for future security, undercuts the aims of land reforms. As Gerdes suggests, “Cervantes…is the incarnation of …the single important theme…: the betrayal of the Revolution’s ideals´ (Gerdes 560)
This is particularly striking because Cervantes, well-educated and thus probably part of the privileged class’ with more Spanish than indigenous heritage, does not suffer from ignorance of the underlying issues in the conflict (The Socialist ABCs 412). Ignorance, as warned by The Socialist ABCs, is personified as making the ‘worker’ vulnerable to “exploiters, priests, and alcohol” (The Socialist ABCs 411). Many of the front-line fighters in Azuela’s book, on the other hand, as in Juan the Chamula, and Pedro Martinez, certainly seem to be profoundly and dramatically ignorant of the philosophical aims of the uprising. Instead, they use the fight as an excuse for drunkenness, gluttony when they can coerce local women to cook for them or steal the ingredients, and pursuit extramarital sexual exploits (many of these tantamount to rape).
The narrator of Juan the Chamula, for example, imprisoned unjustly and then conscripted, is so unworldly that he believes the Carrancistas will cannibalize him. (Pozas 389). Eventually, Juan turns Carrancista, seduced by their two-peso gift, and desperate to find a living. (Pozas 392-393). For Juan, soldiering does not mean land reforms, but, instead, more regular meals, sexual initiation, mobility (e.g. to Veracruz), and an adult identity that blocks his father from abusing him (Pozas 396).
The male narrator of Pedro Martinez enlisted for a reason similarly unrelated to revolutionary philosophy; to escape random shooting under martial law. Only later does the narrator express some understanding of Zapata’s aims (Lewis 380). The female narrator, Esperanza, describes the kidnappings and rapes perpetrated nightly by fighters, presumably feeling empowered by the unsettled circumstances and their unfamiliar new roles. This behavior clearly breaches the principles of Socialism propounded by the ABCs (Lewis 381) (The Socialist ABCs 415). Esperamza’s own personal concerns appear to revolve around her childbirths and her marital relationship rather than the Zapatistas’ lofty ambitions (Lewis 381)
In these readings, even the female fighters seem no more consciously committed to the goals of the Revolution than the men. According to Fernandez, some women exploited the conflict to embrace more sexually liberated roles as solfemale fighters (Fernández 58), Azuela’s striking character of War Paint is an example of a woman who seems not to have been very interested in the philosophical aims of land reform. However, she clearly took advantage of the fighting to adopt a more autonomous and independent persona and engage in her own choice of consensual sexual relations. There is even the faintest suggestion of these women’s feeling able to express homoerotic impulses, as for example, when Quails’ female companion appropriates a book with pictures of naked women (Azuela 56).
While the goal of the Revolution – to reduce the distance between the classes – seems admirable, even the leaders, such as Zapata, were quite simple in their level of worldliness, as evidenced by the description of the General by Guzman. This beloved leader is portrayed as deeply unsophisticated, but he, too, drinks to excess with his men and visitors (Guzman 355). The revolutionary leader Pancho Villa, as described by Reed, seems to be wise in that he knows that he knows not, and feels unqualified to be President, but even he keeps a mistress (Reed 369).
The end result of this confusion of motivations is mass destruction and spoliation. Everyone in these readings is participating in the fighting for reasons far removed from The Socialist ABCs, unrelated to socialist goals of giving workers the fruits of their labors. The result of this endemic confusion may have been the fulfillment of Jenkins’ dire prediction. This American businessman observed that Mexico’s “resources are being destroyed, its riches wasted in a senseless war, and…there will be famine” (Jenkins 364). The recent massive northward migration of Mexicans (both documented and undocumented) seems to confirm his worst fears. Lacking an articulation of its aims to all levels of society and to all fighters, and thus lacking clear motivation and discipline, the Mexican Revolution fell short of its potential. These readings provide an object lesson for constructive change, suggesting that clearly communicated goals inspiring motivation and discipline may lead to greater success in reform.
Anonymous. “The Socialist ABCs.” The Mexico Reader: History, Culture, Politics. Ed. Gilbert Joseph and Timothy Henderson. Durham: Duke University Press, 2002. 411-417. Print.
Azuela, Mariano. The Underdogs. 2008.
Fernández, Delia. “From Soldadera to Adelita: The Depiction of Women in the Mexican Revolution.” McNair Scholars Journal 16.6 (2009): 53-62. Web.
Gerdes, Dick. “Point of View in Los de Abajo.” Hispania 64.4 (1981): 557-563. Web.
Guzman, Martin Luiz. “Zapatistas in the Palace.” The Mexico Reader: History, Culture, Politics. The Mexico Reader. Ed. Gilbert Joseph and Timothy Henderson. Durham: Duke University Press, 2002. 351-356. Print.
Jenkins, William O. “Mexico has been turned into a hell.” The Mexico Reader: History, Culture, Politics. Ed. Gilbert Joseph and Timothy Henderson. Durham: Duke University Press, 2002. 357-363. Print.
Lewis, Oscar. “Pedro Martinez.” The Mexico Reader: History, Culture, Politics. Ed. Gilbert Joseph and Timothy Henderson. Durham: Duke University Pres, 2002. 375-386. Print.
National Endowment for the Humanities. “Mexican Revolution: November 20, 1910.” 2015. Edsitement.
Pozas, Ricardo. “Juan the Chamula.” The Mexico Reader: History, Culture, Politics. Ed. Gilbert Joseph and Timothy Henderson. Durham: Duke University Press, 2002. 387-397. Print.
Reed, John. “Pancho Villa.” The Mexico Reader: History, Culture, Politics. Ed. Gilbert Joseph and Timothy Henderson. Durham: Duke University Press, 2002. 364. Print.