A leader and physicist’s view on morality, ethics, and judgment

May 10, 2012 by Joshua
in Blog, Leadership, Nature, Tips

Wrapping up my series on the counterproductivity of leading with morality, ethics, and judgment, I’ll present a model based I got from Einstein.

Without all the emotion judgment can grip you with, you can understand the physics model easily. Then you can apply it to the emotional situation. Then I bet you’ll improve your life.

Before Einstein: the problem of the aether

Before Einstein, people created a concept called the aether. They saw light traveling through a vacuum and figured something must be there, so they created a concept.

For years they looked for properties of it. No one succeeded. You might remember the Michelson-Morley experiment from high school physics that famously couldn’t detect the aether.

That was a problem. People were looking for something they couldn’t find and had no evidence for. They thought they did, which kept them going. They put a lot of energy into solving a problem of their own creation.

After Einstein: solving problems that affect people’s lives

I won’t go into the details, but Einstein’s theory of relativity showed that you couldn’t detect the aether.

I learned an enlightening way of putting it: Relativity doesn’t say the aether doesn’t exist. It says you can’t detect any of its properties and any problem you can solve by imagining it you can solve more easily without it.

The result: people stopped spending energy on something they couldn’t detect and solved all sorts of other problems. Now we have semiconductors and lasers and you can read this over the internet. No aether necessary.

You as a leader

I propose you as a leader consider adopting a model of being judgmental like we now look at the aether. The model doesn’t say you have no basis to judge. It says any problem you’d try to solve by judging you can solve more easily without it.

That’s the value of avoiding judging. You can always do better without it.

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