Business Virtues

The most important water-mark for personal success, for many people, is going to be the ability to make money. While this really shouldn't be the case, not making a living or not doing it very well can make your life very difficult and poison relationships, so even though there are things much more important than what goes on at work, being effective in business is going to make enjoying the other aspects of your life possible. These virtues here, when you work on them, are intended to make you a better business person, whether you're in a position of leadership or acting as a foot-soldier. The good news is that while these values won't cover everything that happens outside of the workplace, they all will make your life more fulfilling by improving on them.

When you look at the virtues below, you will notice that most of them are based on improving your worth to the business world on three basic fronts: your dependability, quality, and ability to get along well with others. As you can probably see, these skills could also help outside the home; if you can be dependable and likable inside the home as well as the office, you could be pretty set for life. Unfortunately being "good" and reliable in one place doesn't mean you take it elsewhere. There are many honest, hard-working business people who go to their homes lying and not doing much to help, and likewise there are many people who find it harder to be motivated at work. Obviously we are going to focus on making your work-ethic and virtues more desirable and productive for the workplace.

Our program is inspired by Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography and will be a tool you can use to empower your efforts to be a better contributor to your office and everywhere else you may go.

In Our Program You Will

  • Design a program that will work best for you
  • Find your weaknesses, and develop tools and techniques to overcome them
  • Keep a record of your progress and you make your goals

The Business Virtues

Here is a list of business virtues down below. Read these over and make a personal note on which ones you think you are making a part of your life and which ones you need to spend some more time on. Then follow the links to see a more detailed article on what those virtues mean for you in the business world along with some tips on how to improve on them. You may want to study a handful of them—or all of them—before you decide which ones you will tackle first.

  • Agility — Your ability to adjust to new challenges and unexpected surprises.
  • Punctuality — – This is all about being on time to work and meetings, and also making deadlines.
  • Responsibility — This means owning up for your mistakes and doing your part to correct them.
  • Efficiency — If you have developed this virtue, then you habitually look at all your daily procedures and try to find ways to speed up and perfect each task.
  • Sociability — This is being able to converse and get along with co-workers and, if applicable, the customers.
  • Tolerance — This means being patient and having self-control, it also means being able to accept new ideas and orders that you may disagree with.
  • Enterprise — Your willingness to take on new challenges and having the initiative to do so.
  • Inventiveness — This is the skill of finding creative solutions to problems.
  • Versatility — Your ability to take on new responsibilities and skills when the need arises.
  • Intelligence — Your applicable education and ability to make good decisions.
  • Purposefulness — Having this virtue means you perform your tasks in such a spirit that shows that they are personally important to you.
  • Perseverance — The ability to follow through when things get difficult.
  • Professionalism — To intuitively act in ways that the business world and customers expect you to.
  • Optimism — – An upbeat attitude that believes success can be achieved.


Our cultural sins have now found us out. And while wealth does not seem to tricle down from the top of this economy to the bottom, it does seem that bad behavior and bad values do trickle down, and all of us have some serious self-reflection to do. The new maxims, "Greed is good," "It's all about me," and "I want it now" have replaced old virtues. Being number one is now more important than anything or anyone else and has become even more important than the One who points us to things beyond ourselves—the One who will ultimately hold us all accountable. A market based on greed and fear has tugged on some of the worst things in us, and we are now paying the consequences.

We live in a popular culture where celebrities have replaced real heroes, and our celebrities now include CEOs who make as much or more than the actors and the athletes. We are in no short supply of stories of millionaires and billionaires who seem to have no other passion or motivation in life than to accumulate wealth, possessions, and "toys" as quickly and as much as they can. Enough is never enough in a culture of greed.

Jim Wallis | Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street

Recommended Reading

The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything — by Stephen M.R. Covey [with Rebecca R. Merrill]

This book describes the 4 cores of credibility (integrity, intent, capabilities, and results) that create foundation of all trust, and 13 behavior patterns that that guide you out of problems you've behaved yourself into. A very enlightening and thought-provoking read.

Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street — by Jim Wallis

The current economic crisis provides us a much needed opportunity to to re-evaluate our values, revise our thougths, find the way out, and develop new habits of the heart.

General Rules

Practice virtues daily so that they become ‘habits of the heart’.

Don‘t strive for perfection.

Never give up! Remember: even the greats have off days.

Rely on your intuition.

Avoid extremes. Strive to achieve the golden mean between excess and deficiency of a virtue.

Have fun and enjoy the program with humor and optimism.

The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort. Confucius