When Parents Lead, Children Succeed

B2W Radio - The American System of Governance: Can it Survive the Information Age?

B2W Radio - The American System of Governance: Can it Survive the Information Age?

Elane V. Scott
Rick Stephens
Featured Guest:
Dr. Linnea B. McCord

"It is the system of transparency, open discourse and debate, and the election of people to represent all of us that is the key to success." - Dr. Linnea B. McCord

Dear Valued Stakeholders,

I have been fussing over the best way to bring this last show in our series on “systems” to you because for me, it is the most emotional. I am one of those who tear up the minute anyone starts to sing the “Star Spangled Banner” or “God Bless America”. I also have a deep sense of gratitude for the privilege of living in a system of governance where inner freedom to grow and become who I can be is as valued as the physical freedom to move about without limitations. For me, the American system of government is a carefully constructed set of integrated laws founded on principles of human nature meant to provide guidance for our actions in the same way the laws of science act on machines to perform. Let me explain.

When Rick and I sat down a couple of weeks ago to record a special radio show recognizing the anniversary of the first moon landing as a significant systems event, we were able to remember clearly where we were when it happened and how lucky we thought we were to be living at the brink of yet unimagined changes in our lives. We talked about the three mechanical systems that had to be integrated by two bicycle mechanics to build the first airplane: lift, control, and power. And we marveled at the similarity of the challenges faced by our forefathers and the great minds of science working on the moon landing when trying to invent a way to settle a new world without knowing very much about it from first hand experience. I think we’re facing something similar in our world today as technology consumes our time and our attention, demanding that we integrate it into every aspect of our lives. This too is a whole new world. What is at stake in this stage of adoption of so much technology? Our souls or our physical bodies? What guiding principles or laws of human behavior are needed to help us navigate a world where machines have such a powerful grip on our day-to-day actions?

Dr. Linnea McCord, Associate Professor of Business Law at the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California is an inspirational voice for what many would say are the most important, underlying principles of a government that works: trust, ethics and a shared code of conduct. Without those fundamental values in operation, we can’t run our country as we know it.

Consider her “Ten Commandments of Law and Ethical Conduct”, soon to be talked about in a book by Dr. McCord:

1. Tell the truth
2. Be Fair
3. Be Loyal – When we do business, represent my interests above yours.
4. If I hire you to do a job, be competent in doing the job and be diligent about getting it done the way we agreed, or I will not trust you.
5. If you do not take care of money and property that I put in your hands and cannot account for it, I will not trust you.
6. Respect private property so that the majority of people can prosper.
7. Respect me at work.
8. Keep your promises.
9. Leader set the example.

10. Enforce one through nine.

Every one of these principles is deeply rooted in the psyche of a nation of people who know that when we do not take care to do right by the people we share our lives with, we risk losing everything down the road. No machines can fix what we fail to do with our hearts and minds in our every day lives. Today’s national financial situation needs little commentary as a catastrophe of man and computing machines run amuck. Dr. McCord’s 10 Laws give us a way to re-think what we can do differently in the future to make amends to each other and eventually fix what we have broken.

America is a multicultural society blessed with diversity of thought, language, art, and community. We share a system of laws by which we are governed that remain flexible and appropriate no matter what issues we face. Despite our differences, there lies at the core of this nation, a set of common beliefs and values that bind us together. Many might think of the beliefs of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as the chosen core values. While those beliefs are central, it is the system of transparency, open discourse and debate, and the election of people to represent all of us that is the key to success. Whether at the federal, state, local, or personal level, the same principles of trust apply. At Birth2Work, they are the way we do business.

Enjoy the voice of a very special stakeholder leader.

Elane V. Scott