honour Archives - Eve Poole

For the sake of honour

By | Business, Theology | One Comment

Honour is one of those words that gets bandied about rather a lot. Sometimes it’s used just as a label, as in the Honours of Scotland; ‘it wasn’t me, Your Honour’; and ‘she gave him a gong in the Honours’. We also talk about ‘honour’ killings, as well as Honorary degrees. But what does it mean when we say things like: ‘I’m honoured to meet you;’ ‘I promise on my honour;’ or even ‘wilt thou love her, comfort her, honour, and keep her?’ These usages seems to invoke a sense of respect and virtue, something that is more about an orientation or a behaviour.

Honour is one of those old-fashioned words, like manners. But when we use it of someone, we refer to that rather rare and durable characteristic of their being reliably moral. We think people are honourable if they do the right thing. We tend to notice it all the more if it proves costly: our mental picture is probably of a tweedy and stoic English gent standing on a lonely pier, waving goodbye to his true love because she deserves better. So is honour as outdated as curtsying to cakes, and should we have none of it? On the contrary, we need honour more than ever, and we need to start teaching it to our children again. Read More

Honour – the dog that didn’t bark

By | Business | No Comments

No company worth its salt neglects these days to have a set of corporate values. Merrill Lynch famously had theirs etched in stone in the lobby of their London office. To these are customarily linked a set of leadership competencies, to facilitate the annual appraisal process. I’m sure these change with the weather, but Barclays traditionally had a set of ‘leadership imperatives’ which included things like ‘Driving Value Creation’ and ‘Pulling Together’. The list included ‘Inspiring Others’, ‘Straight Talking’ and – Bob – ‘Sharing Power & Responsibility.’ Read More

Dis-Honouring Sir Fred

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When I was at college, much of the discussion about careers was whether you wanted to go for the ‘ks’ or the ‘k’ – a job that paid a lot of money, or a job where you would reap the rewards of public service. Fred Goodwin chose a path that gave him both sorts of k. While he has famously hung on to quite a lot of money, last week he rather publicly lost his Honour. Read More