Economics is defined as the study of incentives and the common practice of reaching these motivations. Many people have gone to immoral conducts just to reach these incentives. A lot of people, particularly in the business field also commit such acts that are morally wrong but would surely bring more profit. They sacrifice integrity in exchange of better revenues. Even big corporations are guilty of these wrongdoings, even though these companies may not admit such offenses. They have resorted to many instances acting dishonorable actions and there must be a compelling reason why they acted that way.
Some of these cases that showed such responses are the public school teachers from Chicago, the sumo wrestlers, and an entrepreneur who plotted actions to attain their selfish goals. These are three different scenarios, all engaged in doing such acts that compromised their values to achieve their self-centered objectives. These public school teachers from Chicago committed cheating by providing their students with answers for a certain examination. On the other hand, sumo wrestlers were also found making deceitful acts by prearranging fights and winners of bouts.
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Although there is a limited manner to prove these misdeeds strongly, there are some noticeable situations to prove that there are abnormalities within the influential circle of sumo wrestlers. The entrepreneur also did a dishonest act by selling bagels to any person that would benefit for possessing that bagel which is considered as illegal. Both this instances, according to the author, involved cheating that was induced by the benefits of doing such acts. All of these circumstances can be said as similar in terms of doing unpleasant deeds in exchange of receiving incentives as the result of these acts.
The author researched other relevant information about the theme of this manuscript. He found out that a person, for his own personal agenda, usually take advantage of any information he has for a specific agenda. One firm example is on the manner a press officer make used of his gathered information to cause the collapse of the Ku Klux Klan for his benefit. Ku Klux Klan is the name given to various secret societies in the United States, generally situated on the southern part of the country, clearly identified for its advocacy that white people are far more superior to other cultural factions.
The Klan made every effort to persecute the other racial groups and terrorize African-American people. Ku Klux Klan’ downfall began when Stetson Kennedy gained access to the Klan and supplied information to media and law enforcement groups. Stetson also provided secret code words that are critical to the Klan. His effort to take advantage with the information he possesses made a big impact to the Klan’s collapse. Kennedy also penned a manuscript about his circumstances with the Klan. This development further damaged the Ku Klux Klan. ”Why experts of every kind are in the perfect position to exploit you”.
A phrase showing another concrete example is the way real state agents behave when they perform their selling acts. A real-state agent persuades the owner of the house to sell for less while at the same time, providing potential buyer information that he can buy the house for a discounted price. To ensure that you have your excellent choice to buy or sell a house, there are clever ways that must be learned before engaging in the actual transaction. Like in the Ku Klux Klan, there are also codes being used by the real-state agents to pass on information throughout the ads they display.
Clusters of words like “well maintained”, “spacious”, “great neighborhood” and other phrases in itself, possesses a full meaning to a housing agent which are frequently unknown to a conventional buyer/owner of a house. Because of this, exploitation of these agents is evident unless the prospective buyer would have a clear understanding about these word-codes they use. On the next chapter, the author did make contradictions about the common idea that the financial status of those people who do illegal acts are always better compared to those who do otherwise.
He rather made this discovery contributing to other factors such as the economic status of a certain individual. He found out that only those who are in the higher rank of a drug organization really prosper while those in the lower level still earns a little amount for their living. These findings were supported by citing Sudhir Venkatesh research about this topic. Sudhir Venkatesh is a sociologist whose research setting was focused on the field studies in the shelter projects in Chicago, made some exceptional discoveries, including the one related with the financial status of a drug organization.
The outcome of this research provided clear evidence about the author’s claim regarding the fiscal status of those people involved drug dealership. Moreover, Sudhir’s research also found out astounding information that being a member of J. T. ’s gang, particularly those in the low-level position jobs, faces a clear danger for their life, having 25% casualty rate. It was compared to the dangers of an employee working in a timber cutting industry, and even those prisoners on the death row, and found these to be less fatal than working as a low-level drug dealer.
Furthermore, this set-up was compared by Levitt to other companies, McDonalds’ burger flipper and Wal-Mart’s shelf stocker. He compared the financial status of every employee and those in the executive positions with the small drug dealers and those who lead the drug organization. These two businesses both manifested the economic imbalance occurring within their respective organization, but still better compared to being a crack dealer. Chapter 4 has brought a contentious claim by the author and it did a lot of interest to take a closer look with the manuscript.
Levitt claimed that the legalization of abortion made a great impact in the reduction of crimes in a certain area. This was supported by his numerous examples like what happened in some states including Alaska, California, Hawaii, New York, and Washington where crime rates fell considerably after making abortion legal on these mentioned territories. The author also presented data showing those states that has the highest cases of abortion showed the significant reduction of crimes occurring in their respective areas. In the same manner, those areas that have recorded the lowest abortion cases only displayed a small drop rate of crimes.
He debunked claims that factors such as advanced policing plan, reduced drug demand, aged population, stricter firearm management, a strong economy, and others significantly affect the crime rates in the country. He also noted that should abortion was not legalized on those key states, less than 2 million babies would have been born every year, thus, increase in the engagement of crimes would have been prevalent. This was due to the fact that most of these are unwanted pregnancy and it is highly probable that these babies will be raised in an unstable family setting or in poverty.
These same reasons, according to Levitt, were also the motives why did pregnant young women sought abortions. Do parenting really matters? This is a question that was covered in Chapter 5, where parenthood was the main topic. Parenting is the course of raising and educating a person from birth or prior to, until maturity. According to the author, a parent is the steward of another’s human life, from being a new born until it reaches adulthood. In the process of parenting, protection is one thing being given by parents to their children.
They provide protection because they know their children is vulnerable against any attack from individuals or other things, including themselves. They feared these might bring affliction to their child, which may eventually lead to death. But the problem lies in absence of knowledge about the science of parenting. Like any other, proper rearing of a child requires skills and proper information to be able to reach its very objective as a parent. This was shown by the author when he cite a scenario about parents who feared that the presence of a gun in their homes might bring hurt and compromise the security of their children.
These parents transferred their child to another’s house where there is no gun but with a swimming pool in their house. Levitt stated that these parents gave less protection in their child because, according to statistics, more children died due to drowning in a swimming pool rather than playing with a gun. If these parents only knew this, they will reconsider their decision and carefully evaluate the place before they agree in sending their child in another location. Smart parenting, therefore, is greatly needed to ensure proper taking care of a child.
Another relevant finding the author made is the direct relationship between the socioeconomic conditions of the parents to achieving a positive outcome with parenthood. Such factors like parents who were highly educated, high socioeconomic standing and having a child in the later age of the parents directly contribute into achieving a better outcome in standardized tests of students. For the last chapter, Levitt focused the discussion to the names given to every child by their parents and how it affects the circumstances of a person by the names given to him at birth.
He stressed the importance of the parent’s act of naming their baby to the future life of this child. The author cited researches about this topic and analyzed carefully the details relating to this matter. Levitt presented researches linking the names of white and black American to their life condition including employment, salary grade, and educational attainment. He also discussed in this chapter a story about a mother that named her daughter “Temptress” and when this child grew up, she was accused unruly conduct, about having sexual affairs with different men while her mother is away form home.
Another name was mentioned in this chapter that was given to a child by his parents that was based upon a shallow reasoning because that name was just the first word they saw upon reaching the hospital. Levitt expressed his concern that good parenting starts with the proper choice of names to be given to their child. He further expressed that those people who did not bother to just give any names to their child without even considering its meaning do not possess the characteristic of being a good parent. This act might greatly affect the future life of a child, either he lived by his name or the world would prejudge the person by his name.
These possible dilemmas must be taken by these parents as a caution before they give names to their children. Our world has experienced a lot of hardships and adversities due to negligence by many people in exchange of accumulating more money and benefits. People should realize that the most important duty is to provide better services to their consumers. They must not forget that enterprising requires responsibility and in any way this should not be compromised. We ought to do our duties in our family effectively for us to start changing our society for the better.
If all of us would keep in mind the main responsibility of every human being to love his God and his neighbor, then our society would be a better place to live including our economy and business. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People Many people have ventured on a lot of studies and attended several trainings to augment their skills in the management area. They wanted to develop their ability in dealing with other people in various disciplines like in business, politics, and other significant areas of concern. Many businesses seek more understanding on how to deal with the consumers effectively to boost their sales and profit.
Those in the field of politics also look for better approaches they will used to convince the voters to elect them from office. These are just some of the reasons why many book were published to address the need of a manuscript that would talk about this very important topic. Stephen Covey authored the book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” in the year 1989. This manuscript has been included on the list of books that was sold favorably for more than 3 years. The author also conducted seminars about this topic and many people attended these gatherings.
Companies like AT & T, Ford, Xerox and other big corporations also made recommendations that this book be read by management officials. This manuscript discussed the seven habits that can be learned to improve oneself and its relationship with others effectively. Covey illustrated a habit as a mix of knowledge, skills and aspirations. This knowledge would represent the area where the main focus is on what must be done for every general and specific detail. The skills focuses on the process things are done and aspirations center on the things that are desired for. In order to create a habit in our lives, we must have all three.
These seven habits are subdivided into three: Habits 1, 2, and 3 is on the personal success while habits 4, 5 and 6 relates to triumphs with regards to the public domain. The last habit involves restoration of oneself. Be proactive is first habit wrote by the author. The author expressed that we must use our ingenuity and inventiveness to work on the road to our personal goals. This suggests that every human being is solely responsible for his or her life. This includes the principle that our own behavior is greatly affected by the choices we make. A proactive person does not let things happen, but rather make things happen.
It acts initiatively and does not wait for others actions to commence. Through this, we can say that we can be responsible enough for every thing that happens to us and to other people that surrounds us. The author pointed out a principle regarding the circle of concern which includes the entire feature that we have control over psychological or affection involvement. The author stressed the circle of influence, which lies inside the circle of concern must be given focus by the person which includes those things that he has total control. According to the author, each person has both a circle of influence and a circle of concern.
Tormenting continuously about things outside of the circle of influence is not dynamic. Working within the circle of influence is productive. Moreover, the more efficient you become, the more your circle of control will start to expand. The next habit pertains to the topic “Begin with the end in mind”. This is all about formulating long-standing objectives based on a specific ideology. According to the author, it is advisable for a person to formulate "individual goal statements” that would serve as the very goal of one’s life. The author suggests good foresight planning as an important tool to develop this.
It is like sculpting a figure that an individual want for one’s life and providing a frame of reference wherein all the manners and conducts can be evaluated. There must be a lucid direction where to go and when to stop. Only when all the paths are cleared that a person can suffice its objective with regards to planning long-term goals in his life. Meanwhile, in an organizational structure, Covey emphasize that the company’s vision would be more efficient if all the members of the group were involved in the formulation of these ideas and was not prearranged by only a small number of personalities.
The third habit, Covey wrote, is to put first things first. Self-determination is vital in this topic of concern. It entails a lot of effort for a person or to maintain personal integrity. “Walk the talk” is one famous phrase that must always be present in one’s mind to be able to preserve his or her uprightness. Proper time management and setting up of priorities are also included in this area. Those effective people know how to prioritize things and say no to non-urgent things. Think win-win is the fourth habit. This often refers to circumstances where one benefits, not necessarily in the course of someone else's defeat.
This mentality is based on collaboration rather than competition. Each side must have the boldness to state one’s convictions, but to take into concern other's belief. It allows all participants to achieve positive outcomes in their struggles. There are four step processes that illustrate more this habit. The first step is to see the problem from other point of view. This means that a person must also take into careful consideration the views and opinions of other people, particularly those in the other side of the struggle. Knowing what the main arguments of other people would bring more understanding for both sides.
The next step is on identifying the key subjects and apprehensions involved in the situation. This addresses the heart of the issue and focusing on the main issues of the scenario. There must be full cooperation coming from all sides to ensure the completion of this undertaking. After this, determination of results that represents an acceptable solution to the problem comes next. Resolution to the problem must provide a clear picture for both sides to guarantee that the benefits of these outcomes will surely answer each of the problems on each side.
If there would still be unresolved conflicts between, the next step will be to identify alternative options to further achieve proper arbitration of this situation. These steps can be used by companies to enhance their relations with their employees, ensuring lasting relationships between the employers and employees. The fifth habit is to “seek first to understand then to be understood”. The author proposes that we establish first more information before ever beginning to communicate. That is what we must comprehend for every situation before hastening in with giving suggestions.
In order to understand the heart of any topic, it is more appropriate to use the skills in communication and listening. It is a given fact that most people do not pay attention for the purpose to comprehend what they hear, instead they listen just to be able to respond to it. There are various levels of listening which includes not listening at all, pretending that you are listening, selective listening, attentive listening, and absolute listening. Only a few performs the higher level of listening but this is what matters most if you want to understand more other people’s concern.
Many people do not realize that by listening to others, it is already a good start that you will also be understood in the process. It is very important that when you hear, it must include not just your senses but most importantly, the heart. That is where true listening begins. When all of the habits mentioned above are already realized, synergy comes next. This is the sixth habit and regarded to as the premier activity in all life. This custom occurs when minds fuels another mind and ideas call for more ideas. This produces new options that come up naturally.
This synergy is a derivative and this cannot be made by mere intervention. Deliberately creating synergy actually makes it harder for it to exist. What must be provided is just to prepare the climate for synergy to occur. This includes first, the win-win attitude, next is seeking first to understand, and third is the belief in our capabilities to find a third alternative. To sum it all, synergy is built directly upon other factors preceding it. This stresses that we must value the distinction between people and how they view the world.
That disparity can be used as a basis of insight. Covey stated that the seventh habit serves as the oil that greases the mechanism of all the other habits. “Sharpening the saw” is the inclination that makes all the others possible. This requires making an investment in oneself. Treating his or her body with utmost care is what needed. Renewal of one’s spirit must also be taken into consideration. This can be realized through prayers, music, reading the word of God, reflection and others. All of these can touch our inner beings and provide restoration to every individual.
We can further make investments for ourselves by continuing education, thorough reading of books and manuscripts that would give more information and knowledge in many aspects of life. Another aspect would be the social and emotional regeneration that entails interaction with other people to build the one’s own sense of welfare. Another is through penning materials that would challenge our ability to think, rationalize, and comprehend more. After all of these, rest is also needed to renew our energy and to equip us again for another days work.
Self-sufficient philosophy alone is not appropriate to mutually dependent actuality. Independent persons who do not have the maturity to consider and perform interdependently may become excellent individual producers, but these people would not become superior leaders or team players. All of these seven habits Covey presented give a detailed understanding on the facts that highly effective people acts and deal with their own life and their surroundings. These customs are worth to try in attaining the goal to be highly effective individuals.
But the most important thing would be to maintain a clear conscience and be sensitive enough to other’s feelings and circumstances. To be highly effective depends greatly on what do most people see on person. This book is just a guideline for us to start with the objective of being effective persons in our respective fields, but it still depends on ourselves if we will strive to continue these principles. It all boils down to one major area; the person’s relationship with God and his neighbors. The Art of War The manuscript “The Art of War” was recorder as one of the oldest book written for military applications.
This involves a lot of strategies and approaches when it comes to war planning and executions. Many famous personalities have claimed that their principles were inspired by this book. Napoleon Bonaparte was believed to be inspired by this book during his entire course of imperial campaign. Its simple but brilliant approaches are the things that made this book survived up to the present. Aside from its importance in the war strategies, “The Art of War” principles can also be applied to the business world today.
Many topics of this timeless book can be seen as relevant to the corporate arena, where the competition between companies is inevitable. This set up can be seen as a war between companies and such quotes from Sun Tzu can be utilized to encourage managers and businessmen to achieve ultimate success in their respective industries. The first chapter of the book focus on “laying plans” This surveys the five key essentials that characterize competitive situation which includes mission, climate, ground, leadership, and methods.
This chapter also includes the process of evaluating one self’s competitive strengths against your enemies. If the planner formulated a great strategy and executed it successfully, then that group will already have a step further of the competition when it comes to the actual battle. In the business arena, it is a must to conduct planning and surveys to evaluate the present status as a company as well as its competitors performance. By doing this, there would be a clear signal that can be used further when modifications and innovations of products and services are needed.
Another thing is that sure victories always start with careful planning the details of a strategy. In commerce, good policies isn’t automatically employed to directly clash a competitor, instead it is a tactic that uses chances to take full advantage of your situation in the market. A corporation must look at their inner strong points and weaknesses and visually placed them for careful observation. The next step will be to look at the outer prospects and threats of the company and put these in an outline for study.
After all of these, the company will come up with a detailed analysis of the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and come up with a new strategy. Upon looking at the results of this analysis, decisions then must be made whether to continue with the competition or to venture to other trades. Waging war is on the next chapter wherein it clarifies the process of understanding the financial nature of the struggle and how triumphs require making the brilliant move that will serve victory, which as an aftermath, limiting the costs of competition and argument.
Like in the business field, when competition is so fierce, the business manager must carefully familiarize himself with the actual competition between all the players so that he would not spend a lot of resources just to stay in the contest. He must be knowledgeable enough to handle this “war” between players in the market. The next chapter focuses on the topic “attack by stratagem”. This chapter discusses that the source of any military strength resides in unity and not in size. In this chapter, Sun Tzu also gave five factors to know who will become victorious in any battle.
First is that the person who knows when to engage battle and when not to fight, will be triumphant. Knowing one’s capability is a good sign of a great strategist. Same with the business, owners of the company must know their strengths and weaknesses to be able to avoid possible collapse and defeat from its competitors. The next factor, according to the book, is that the person who knows how to use whatever the size of his forces will be victorious. Another aspect is that the one who knows how to bring unity between those in the lower and upper level for a clear intention will also be victorious.
The fourth factor is that the one who is always ready will be successful compared to those who are not. The last aspect is that if commander-in-charge is competent and not meddled by anyone, including the ruler will be triumphant. All of these five factors can be applied in managing a business, particularly those who faces great competition in the market. Competition in the trades is analogous to “war” being described by Sun Tzu. The next chapter pertains to strategic outlook that is also important in war. According to this segment, an army that acquires first circumstances before going to battle will be victorious.
On the other hand, an army who engage in battle first without considering other important conditions will just be looking for defeat. An owner of a business must study first the conditions of the market before putting up his business to enable him to address important issues regarding the needs and circumstances of the consumers. Only by then he would have greater chances to survive in the market and may surpass all its competitors. Chapter five concerns the proper utilization of force of an army. It is described in this chapter that proper use of force is required to win the battle.
Whatever the size of an army, it still depends on how it will use by the commander. In business, proper utilization of resources is needed to ensure efficiency in the business. It all depends on how it will be run by the manager of the business. The next chapter focuses on knowing the weakness and strengths of an enemy. Probing the enemy to know its weak spot and its strong points is a good way to defeat the adversary. In business, it is a good attitude of a business manager to familiarize himself with his competitors’ flaws because this information can be used to improve his products or services.
Right maneuvering is on the next chapter. It is not always appropriate to face your enemy directly. Proper positioning is good tactic to add more advantages to the army to defeat the enemy. Business also requires proper way of identifying good positions to enhance the sales of an industry. A fast food chain must be placed in a crowded area, even there are already established competitors in that locale. What is more important is the proper placing of the store that would still be accessible enough to consumers. Next topic described in chapter eight is the variation in tactics of an army.
Flexibility must always be present in anyone’s mind because there might be uncontrolled circumstances that suddenly occurred that need to be address immediately. There must be rooms for changes in the plans. Contingency measures are always present when planning a war strategy. This is the same with business because, trends are continuously changing and the demands of people may vary in time. That is why many companies have put up research and development division and innovation section to address these concerns. Chapter nine illustrates the actual army marching toward the enemy.
Like in the previous chapters, maneuvers must always be a part of the plan when marching began. It all depends on the actuation of the enemy in the battlefield. The general must be knowledgeable enough to provide his army tactics in the battle arena. In the corporate world, the same is applied. There must be enough room for sudden maneuvers and that depends wholly on who run the company. Like a general, he must be skilled enough to deal with actuations that require some changes in the plan. Ground Formation is on the next chapter. It entails a lot of insight on how to position an army in the battle.
In order to win the war, it is imperative for a general to evaluate the opponent, make situations leading to success, calculating the risks and spaces. In the business arena, it is also relevant to ensure success of the business by the managing properly of a particular company. There are conditions that need to be set in order to enhance the sales of the business. Risks in the business are inevitable; a good manager will always make accurate calculations to avoid these business threats. The eleventh chapter discusses the nine different grounds in warfare.
These must carefully study because according to the book, there is a specific response for every given type of grounds. These are the following: dispersive ground, marginal ground, contentious ground, open ground, intersecting ground, critical ground, difficult ground, surrounded ground, and deadly ground. Each ground needs appropriate action by the commanding general to guarantee victory. In the market, there are variations in the settings and environments. A good businessman will carefully examine his ground first to be able to survive this competition, if there is any.
Chapter twelve illustrates the topic on fire attacks. This gives explanation on the use of arsenals commonly and the use of the surroundings as a weapon particularly. It scrutinizes the five marks for aggression, the five types of ecological assaults, and the suitable answers to such assault. In business, we cannot avoid some competitors doing some bad tricks to destroy his rival’s business reputation. Proper responses must be applied to such attacks like these, or they might fulfill their purpose to afflict their rival’s industry. The last chapter discusses the use of spies.
This focuses on the relevance of producing good data gatherers to help in their battle. According to the book, enlightened leaders and superior commanders who have acquired clever agents that are used as spies are most likely into enormous triumphs. This timeless piece of manuscript can be applied to various disciplines aside form the real warfare. It gives a lot of brilliant ideas that are far more superior to other advices provided by other books. One important thing that must not be disregarded is that God is in control of everything. It takes His help and provision to help win any adversary.
This is also included in the book, pertaining to Heaven. As long as we do His will, we must not be affected by any enemy that hinders our success. The battle is the Lord’s. References Levitt, Steven D. , Dubner, Stephen J. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything. United States: William Morrow, April 12, 2005. Covey, Stephen R. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1990. Tzu, Sun. The Art of War : The Denma Translation. United States. Shambhala Publications. 2001
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