Honest Weights and Measures


Honest Weights and Measures

The cornerstone for much of the philosophical, cultural and religious thought around the world is the concept of keeping accurate and honest weights and measures. What might a 1 lb. weight or a 12” ruler have to do with VIM Executive Coaching and leadership development? As you will discover, a great deal!

Originally cultures were not necessarily built with huge and burdensome laws and numerous sets of rules. Within groups and tribes and later, their territories, towns and cities, they relied on a currency of honesty and fairness. Whether trades between villages or the sales “contract” between a merchant and customer their had to be agreement that a measure was accurate and transferable. That is, a measure in one area had to equal the exact measure in another area. Indeed, an honesty in how things were weighed and measured was fundamental to existence.

Fast Forward
Unless we go apple picking at the local orchard in the autumn or buy a pound and a half of radishes at the farmer’s market on the weekends, most of us don’t worry too much about whether a “bushel is a bushel” or if the trusty old scale in the market booth in still accurate. Most of us live in a world where packages of “whatever” have the proper weight stamped or printed on them, and the 8’ x 11’ area rug we order from the retailer’s website is, in fact, the proper size.

We mostly rely on third parties to weigh and measure with accuracy. For example, the FTC keep close tabs on things such as a 1-ounce box of raisins containing 1 ounce, or a contracted survey team assuring us that our 100’ x 150’ yard is truly that measure.

So, has the concept of keeping accurate and honest weights and measures gone by the wayside in our technology laden world? Quite the contrary. Keeping honest weights and measures has never been more important. However, those of us in leadership or entrepreneurship have to develop a completely new way of honest measurement. It is far more reflective and very internal.

How do we as a leader weigh and measure what others are saying to us? How do we better value and assess performance? How do we more effectively deal with personnel issues in an environment of authenticity and compassion?

The Honest Measure of Mindfulness
As executive leaders, we might be able to confidently rely upon our local enforcement authorities to make certain the gallon of gas we purchase from the corner gas station measures a gallon of gas. However, when we are pressed to listen to a personnel issue in our offices we can generally rely on no one other than ourselves.

If we go into any situation with a pre-conceived notion of who or what is right or wrong, it is no different than an architect assuring us that our new home is about 2,700 feet without ever actually measuring the rooms! Just as the architect must use all the tools at her disposal to give us an accurate measurement to the inch, through cultivating executive leadership tools such as being more mindful and authentic so can we as managers better assess any situation that comes our way.

At VIM Executive Coaching we work with executive leaders and entrepreneurs to help them become more mindful and authentic in opening up their hearts and minds to actively hearing and responding to others. In cultivating authenticity and honesty rather than having preconceived notions of who or what is right or wrong, we have a more honest way of dealing with issues.

Honest weighing and measuring of a situation depends upon how accurately we can employ mindfulness and our sense of looking at each situation anew rather than prejudging and showing bias.

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