What’s the opposite of Goodness: Can you honor your inner critic?

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What do you think is the opposite of goodness? We need your insights to continue the Goodness Pays book project.

What do you think is the opposite of goodness? We need your insights to continue the Goodness Pays book project.

“So, what is the opposite of goodness?” the interviewee asked. Before we could even begin the first interview for the Goodness Pays book project, the executive presented significant resistance. “I need to know if you are trying to paint the picture that the opposite of ‘goodness’ is ‘badness,’ he continued. Here’s how I answered:

Honoring the critic

The most rewarding part of building a movement is honoring the critic. The critics say aloud what many others are thinking and feeling. And sometimes, I’m my harshest critic. What do I really mean?

I do not think ‘badness’ is the opposite of goodness. Instead, I think narrow-minded, indecisive selfishness is the opposite of goodness.

Goodness Pledge Spark Goodness Pay“Ok, that helps,” he mused. “My reaction to your subject is that ‘goodness’ is a concept that’s lost its power in the context of religioncorporate social responsibility or self-righteousness. I really do believe goodness pays, but I don’t want to be a mouthpiece for any goody-two-shoes message,” he said emphatically.

Building courage

We embraced this mission because our clients are thriving by concentrating on goodness as both an intention and an outcome of their leadership. They are definitely happier, healthier and more magnetic as leaders.

It’s not about promoting a “goody-two-shoes” dialogue. It’s about producing business results through excellence, generosity, fairness and positivity. We believe the opposite of excellence is indifference. The opposite of generosity is selfish. The opposite of fairness is obstruction. And the opposite of positivity is toxic

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Thank you for reading to the end of this blog: your thoughts will help shape the Goodness Pays book.

Thank you for reading to the end of this blog: your thoughts will help shape the Goodness Pays book.

So…what do YOU think? The success of the Goodness Pays book project will include ideas from you. Can you honor your inner critic, and answer the question: What is the opposite of goodness? 

If you’d rather not share your ideas with others by commenting on this site, email me privately – I want to hear from you.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Beau Nordby on September 27, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    A great question, Paul. In looking at the opposite of “goodness” through the eyes of a parent to younger kids, it’s an interesting take on it. When my kids are being the opposite of good, they are: stubborn, selfish, inconsiderate, unthankful…the list goes on. Kids have to learn, as you’ve stated before, what’s possible and what’s not acceptable. What’s “good” and what’s “bad.”

    In the context of a workplace, all of these adjectives clearly describe someone not being a “team player.” Someone who is in it for themselves. As the Good Leadership tagline states, “Good leaders working TOGETHER with good intentions make great things possible.” Coming full-circle, your description of the opposite of goodness as, “narrow-minded, indecisive selfishness” is spot on – specifically the selfish part. In order to exercise goodness, I feel you need to be others-centered. The opposite of that being self-centered.



  2. Carolyn Vinup on September 27, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Paul,
    I appreciate you starting the conversation. It take courage to be a champion of Goodness. To me, someone who is willing to share goodness, is someone who is really in touch with who they are, they rank high on self awareness. And they are connected in a holistic way to those they care about both personally and professionally. The world needs more Goodness today and every day. Thanks for being committed to growing good leaders who know that goodness pays.



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