In every role we have, in every influential situation we are in - whether as children, parents, friends, lovers, partners, co-workers, bosses, etc. - real, lasting success in every area of our life, through all the ups and downs and the choices we make, is framed by the quality of our character. The Diamond Ethos™ goes beyond the Golden Rule (treating people the way we want to be treated) or the Platinum Rule (treating people the way they want to be treated); because sometimes choosing either one means enabling thoughts, choices, actions and behaviors that don't serve the ability every person has to build and sustain a strong, noble character that guides them as leaders in whatever field of influence they have, in any given situation, encounter or moment.
The Diamond Ethos™ asks us to see and treat our fellow human beings as the highest possible expression of themselves, allowing for the possibility for them to rise to meet that potential in all they think, say and do. This includes sometimes calling them out with kindness - and even some tough love - when we witness they are heading in a direction that can sully their character and cause suffering within or without. In turn, we hold ourselves accountable by embodying the same standard as well, which is expressed in how we lead by the example we wish to see in the world.
Although there isn't one definitive list of qualities that contributes to building Ethical Intelligence and a strong, noble character, I've chosen 34 facets that reflect the heart of The Diamond Ethos™. I've also added a favorite quote to illustrate each one below. They are a buffet of rich opportunities for Self-Assessment/Self-Relection, as well as a framework for walking our talk - no matter where we find ourselves. Together they form a helpful roadmap for the lifetime adventure of growing in conscious awareness.
This is not about some impossible, toxic quest for perfectionism, or about beating yourself up, or feeling superior. Nobody is perfect and ever will be - just like you.
"Virtue is its own reward, and brings with it the truest and highest pleasure; but if we cultivate it only for pleasure's sake, we are selfish, not religious, and will never gain the pleasure, because we can never have the virtue." - John Henry Newman
Nobody I've ever met has mastered all of them, so beware of any ego-driven temptation to use this list as a comparison chart between you and another (or some sort of weapon - or just to inflate your ego): rather let them be facets of a strong, noble character you can work on refining every day, and contagiously nurture in others simply by how you humbly reflect the virtues contained in each facet.
The Diamond Ethos™:
"Do you wish to be great? Then begin by being. Do you desire to construct a vast and lofty fabric? Think first about the foundations of humility. The higher your structure is to be, the deeper must be its foundation."
"The glue that holds all relationships together - including the relationship between the leader and the led - is trust, and trust is based on integrity."
- Brian Tracy
"if it is not right do not do it:
if it is not true do not say it."
- Marcus Aureliuus
"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." - Leo Buscaglia
"We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting
- Joseph Campbell
"Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering you own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them - every day begin the task anew." - Saint Francis de Sales
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
- Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
- Melody Beattie
“Each human being, however small or weak, has something to bring to humanity. As we start to really get to know others, as we begin to listen to each other's stories, things begin to change. We begin the movement from exclusion to inclusion, from fear to trust, from closedness to openness, from judgment and prejudice to forgiveness and understanding. It is a movement of the heart.”
-- Jean Vanier
“To bear defeat with dignity, to accept criticism with poise, to receive honors with humility -- these are marks of maturity and graciousness.”
- William Arthur Ward
"Maturity is the ability to think, speak and act your feelings within the bounds of dignity. The measure of your maturity is how spiritual you become during the midst of your frustrations."
- Samuel Ullman
“When we were children, w15e used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability... To be alive is to be vulnerable.”
- Madeleine L'Engle
"Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things are connected."
"If one has no sense of humor, one is in trouble."
- Betty White
"How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment. We can start now, start slowly, changing the world. How lovely that everyone, great and small, can make a contribution toward introducing justice straightaway. And you can always, always give something, even if it is only kindness!"
- Anne Frank
"As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison."
- Nelson Mandela
"Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can."
- John Wesley
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
- Anais Nin
"There are only two options regarding commitment; you’re either in or you’re out."
- Pat Riley
“Choosing to be an impeccable warrior means choosing to be a person, choosing to be a responsible adult, instead of being your mother’s baby. There is dignity in it; you are your own person, your life is your responsibility and you always have the choice to do your best. Impeccability can be in action, in feeling, in thinking. Impeccability can be in terms of the will, in terms of the mind, in terms of the heart. When you are really impeccable, that’s it. It’s not as if you’re looking for truth because truth will lead you someplace, to something else. No. You are dedicated to the truth because the truth is truth. It is the same thing with impeccability."
- A. H. Almaas
"Your presence is the most precious gift you can give to another human being."
- Marshall Goldsmith
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
-- Theodore Roosevelt
"A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity."
- HH the 14th Dalai Lama
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
- Marianne Williamson
“It is your response to winning and losing that makes you a winner or a loser.”
- Harry Sheehy
"A human being is a part of the whole, called by us 'universe,' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
- Albert Einstein
"Always be a first-rate version of yourself and not a second-rate version of someone else."
- Judy Garland
"Civility means a great deal more than just being nice to one another. It is complex and encompasses learning how to connect successfully and live well with others, developing thoughtfulness, and fostering effective self-expression and communication. Civility includes courtesy, politeness, mutual respect, fairness, good manners, as well as a matter of good health. Taking an active interest in the well-being of our community and concern for the health of our society is also involved in civility."
- P.M. Forni
"I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief."
- Gerry Spence
"Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble."
- Yehuda Berg