We’re in a crisis in our culture! It’s not just a financial crisis. It’s deeper. It’s not just a security crises. It’s deeper. It’s not just a terrorism crisis. It’s deeper.

The crisis that horrifies us is far more dangerous because it is less obvious, more systemic, and harder to quantify. Yet, it is like a festering cancer that is eating away the fiber of our families, institutions, and cultures. The ramifications may not seem as immediate as some of these other crises yet the long-term impact is exponentially more destructive.

It’s a character crisis!

As much as we get concerned about the worldwide financial crisis that began to raise it’s ugly head in the fall of 2008, we believe that even that crisis was more of a character crisis than it was a financial one (as bad as the economy is).

Consider the reasons for the crisis and then the response to the crisis. We experienced the shaking of the markets for many reasons but at the core it was greed, selfishness, arrogance, a desire to get rich quick, and lack of self control whether it was on wall street or main street. And, how have we responded? Fear, turning inward, panic, hoarding, depression, anger, bitterness, victimized mindset and worse have been standard responses.

And what about the current struggles in our business and government institutions? Could it be that the massive deficit in the state of California budget and almost all other states is somehow related to character issues in the leadership arena? Perhaps a lack of courage to make tough decisions at the legislative and executive branch of state and federal government due to fear, greed, expediency, ambition, and other character related issues got us here.

And, on the business front what impact has the greed resulting in excessive bonuses, get rich quick schemes, and an entitlement mindset had on the challenges in major corporations?

What is essential to all of these areas…character, or better stated a lack of character. If the financial crises have taught us anything it is how woefully lacking we are of inner resources and character to deal with the issues of the day.

This just hasn’t happened overnight either. That is what is so insidious. We’ve slowly become lulled to sleep in part because of our level of comfort and wealth especially in the west. We’re like the frog boiled alive. If you put a frog into a boiling bowl of water he will jump out. But, if you put him in a cold pan of water and slowly heat it up he will be boiled alive.

Is that us? Have we been lulled asleep by our own success and comfort?

We believe we have. And, High/Ground’s response is to stimulate a movement of character centered leadership in the culture worldwide. Leveraging Dr. Jenson’s work in the area of character and his best selling book, Achieving Authentic Success, High/Ground is working with a number of it’s key partners to identify and champion strategies to drive these core character-centered leadership principles into the cultures of the world with a special emphasis on youth and emerging leaders.